The Climate Investment Fund for Scaling up Renewable Energy for Low Income Countries (SREP) is devoting funding of $50 million (USD) to helpd develop financially sustainable long-term markets for the private sector provision of off-grid electricity services in East African countries, Rwanda and Uganda.
Energy remains one of the biggest struggles in East Africa, though more investors are attracted to the region.
Electricity to 70% of Rwanda by 2018
Rwanda is committed to providing electricity access to 70% of the population by 2018 up from only 23% this year – through a wide range of renewable resources.
Senior SREP Coordinator Zhihong Zhang says, “Rwanda has a very ambitious target of electrification through both on-grid and off-grid solutions. SREP support will target the development of off-grid energy markets to help bring electricity to unserved communities in rural areas, create employment opportunities and generate income.”
1.5 million Rwandans expected to benefit
“SREP funding can act as a catalyst,” he says, “and will help improve the enabling environment conditions to unlock and systematically scale-up private investments.”says Robert Nyamvumba,Director of Energy from the Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure.
About 1.5 million Rwandans are expected to benefit from the SREP program, he added.
Robert Nyamvumba, Director of the Energy Division from the Ministry of Infrastructure in Rwanda says, “This endorsement will help to unleash the potential of the private sector to provide off-grid energy solutions using renewable energy sources.”
SREP funding will mean many Rwandans living in rural areas will have access to energy and improve their lives through development activities as well as create an enabling environment for businesses in the communities, he added.
While Rwanda is committed to meeting its energy goal by 2017 Uganda is placing energy at the forefront of its social economic development. Right now, only 17% of the population has access to electricity. In rural areas, that figure drops to seven percent.
More than 29 million in Uganda without power
“With a population of 35 million, more than 29 million people in Uganda do not have access to electricity,” says SREP senior program coordinator Zhihong Zhang.
The SREP funding endorsed today, he says, “will help tackle this challenge by supporting Uganda in developing indigenous renewable energy resources and will offer opportunities for development even in remote areas of the country.”
“Aside from hydropower, geothermal, solar power and wind all offer lots of potential for Uganda,” he added. “Ugandans have the potential to change the energy sector in the country and attract investment from other sources in the long-run.”
James Baanabe, Uganda’s Commissioner of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Department in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says:
“Energy is the driver of social economic development so adequate and reliable renewable energy is vital to our vision of becoming a prosperous country within 30 years.
Uganda is blessed with a number of renewable energy sources. SREP will contribute to the development of our renewable energy for the social and economic development of our country.”
Other CIF funds
Other CIF funds are the $5.3 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF) for middle-income countries for the transfer of low carbon technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport.
The $785 million Forest Investment Program (FIP) supports efforts of developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management that leads to emissions’ reductions and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD +).
The $1.2 billion Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is the $1.2 billion fund helping developing countries integrate climate resilience into development planning.