Now is the time to set the course towards a substantial uptake of renewable energy for all people in urban and rural Africa to improve their livelihoods and to protect the environment. African countries now have the opportunity of leap-frogging fossil fuel based energy production by utilizing the advanced renewable energy technologies available. Renewable energy means both the production of electricity as well as thermal applications. If we fail to take decisions immediately on renewable energy production and distribution, we undermine the right of millions of African citizens to develop a better life in the future. AREA will campaign for the following objectives.
- Energy access:
Every African citizen should have access to sustainable, renewable energy by 2030. The accelerated implementation of renewable energy solutions is a mandatory condition for the protection of our natural environment, the halting of climate change and the improvement of human health. Access to sustainable energy (electricity and heat) is vital for the achievement of all 8 Millenium Development Goals (MDG).
- Electricity production:
20% of electricity produced in Africa has to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020. Countries are to become energy self-sufficient by means of harvesting their RE sources. Decentralized renewable energy production close to the demand side is the preferable option for remote areas.
- Energy efficiency:
Countries and industries should adopt the range of proven energy efficiency measures.
- Energy policy:
Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs (REFiT) to be implemented as effective policy for grid-connected areas to attract investment in renewable energy production.
Good governance and transparency of the decision making process and financial flow is the key for attracting local and foreign investors. Neither a pure bottom-up nor a simple top-down approach promises to work for the uptake of renewables. A truly mutual understanding and agreement among politicians, the civil society and the business community is crucial.
Financing Renewable Energy in developing countries requires investment security. In order to ensure this AREA explores innovative international, national and local financing mechanism for renewable energy policies. Countries ought to invest the income of 1% taxation on fossil fuel importation and 2% taxation on fossil fuel export into a pan-African renewable energy fund as proposed by Senegal‘s President Wade.
- Energy education:
Environmental information and energy education on challenges, solutions, available technology and financial mechanisms to be introduced at all levels of society, as they are a prerequisite for the success of implementing renewable energy strategies.
Jobs in installing, operating, and maintaining decentralized renewable energy systems can benefit a broad range of communities. In order to foster local employment, renewable energy solutions should be linked with the development of local economies, based on a market driven approach.
- Information & knowledge exchange via online platform
- Monthly Phone conferences
- AREA Steering Committee workshops
- AREA International Conferences
- Advocacy material/ toolkits on technologies, policies and financial mechanisms
- AREA presentations and key note speeches at relevant conventions and forums