AREA is a registered Voluntary Association in South Africa. Founded in Ethiopia in October 2009 by the World Future Council, this member-driven network comprises of around 2.000 members from 95 countries. AREA members share information, knowledge and experience via an online platform and monthly phone discussions, meet for international AREA conferences and workshops and present their positions at relevant conventions and forums.
Why is AREA needed now?
To create a stimulating environment for Renewables, it takes integrated socio-political concepts. Frameworks, which have proven successful in other countries of the global South, should be adapted and implemented in Africa. However, knowledge about these policies is rarely disseminated across the continent. This is why the World Future Council has initiated the African Renewable Energy Alliance [AREA], a platform for political decision makers, representatives from business and the civil society to exchange information and consult about policies, technologies and financial mechanisms for the deployment of renewable energies in Africa. AREA will play a catalytic role in promoting knowledge transfer and international cooperation.
What policies or projects is AREA working on now?
AREA is in the process of collecting and identifying best policies regarding renewable energy. In a first joint declaration, we agreed on a basis of our cooperation (10 Terms of Reference) of which four core points are as follows:
- Good governance and transparency of the decision making process and the financial flow is the key for attracting local and foreign investors.
- Energy education and environmental information on challenges, solutions and available technology at all levels of society is a prerequisite for the success of implementing renewable energy strategies.
- In order to foster local employment, Renewable Energy solutions should be linked with the development of local economies, based on a market driven approach. The Alliance will ensure sustainability in the adaptation of
- Renewable Energy technologies by supporting Pan-African, regional, national and local capacity-building.
- Financing Renewable Energy in developing countries requires investment security. In order to ensure this the Alliance wants to explore an innovative international, national and local financing mechanism for Renewable Energy policies.
What African countries are most ready for renewable energy projects?
All of them are! There is a huge potential for renewable energy in all of Africa. What is needed is the political will to implement the necessary policies and thus leapfrogging a carbon based energy production.
Countries which rank high in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (Rule of law, Transparency and Corruption, Safety and Security, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, Human Development) are most likely ready for renewable energy projects.
What type of renewable energy is best for those countries?
It’s predicted that solar energy will be the major source of energy supply for Africa. One of the main advantages of solar energy is the decentralized production at the venue of consumption with minimal impact on the environment. Thus, massive investments in nationwide grids are not required.