Pre-Assembly Session at IRENA’s 13th Assembly Underlines the Benefits of the Continental Power System Master Plan
The 13th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly under the theme “World Energy Transition – The Global Stocktake” took place from the 14 th to the 15 th of January in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Preceding the Assembly, IRENA hosted a number of ministerial and stakeholder meetings. The first meeting underlined the continent-wide planning process to establish an African Continental Power Systems Master Plan (CMP). The meeting was attended by heads of state, ministers, energy decision-makers, multilateral organisations, global stakeholders, and private sector actors.
During the keynote speech, H.E. Mohammed Dansanta Rimi, Nigerian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, unveiled Nigeria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap). The roadmap has been prepared in collaboration with IRENA and aims to see 92% of energy resources in Nigeria become renewable.
The meeting underlined how the CMP will facilitating trade with and between power pools. If African countries are unable to meet their clean energy demand, the CMP will offer power pool interconnections, which will supply the needed energy at cheaper prices. Speakers agreed that the CMP offers an important trading opportunity interconnecting the 55 African countries.
Rashid Abdallah, Executive Director of the African Energy Commission (AFREC), African Union Commission (AUC), and Stefano Signore, Head of Unit, DG INTPA, European Commission (EC), both highlighted the vital role of the partnership between Europe and Africa. They underlined that the interconnected pathways the CMP enables benefit Africa, but also the world. To that effect, Signore and Thirsos Hadjicostas, Independent Senior Management and Energy Consultant, spoke about the work being done by the partnership in the form of embedded advisors in key African institutions, the development of energy data, trainings and capacity building courses, and studies on relevant energy topics.
The session concluded that the CMP will lower the cost of energy, create a large energy market, and promote the sharing of energy resources. The CMP will have the added benefit of setting a common agenda of PIDA PAP projects that will diversify energy resources when they’re interconnected to the grid. Ultimately, the Master Plan will enable Africa to establish transparent energy regulations, enable the development of sustainable power supplies, deal with global environmental challenges, promote environmental improvement, enhance resource-based economic activities, and provide frameworks for international investors to participate in development initiatives within the continent.