September 17, (THEWILL) – The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $1m grant for the modernisation of Africa’s ageing hydropower fleet.
The grant will fund the mapping and evaluation of the rehabilitation needs of African hydropower facilities. It will also support the preparation of modernisation works for two pilot facilities to a bankable stage, a move expected to add 200MW in generation capacity, create 150 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 300 kilotons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.
The modernisation of hydropower stations is an opportunity to increase generation capacity at low-cost, and with relatively short lead times and minimal environmental impact.
Modern hydropower plays a key role in Africa’s energy transition, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and anchoring larger shares of Variable Renewable Energy sources.
According to the Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Daniel Schroth, this transformative programme under SEFA’s Green Baseload component will specifically capitalise on the significant market opportunity for rehabilitation of Africa’s existing hydropower plants.
The AfDB manages SEFA.
The project is fully aligned with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to provide universal access to energy for Africans and prioritises low-carbon technologies that harness the continent’s hydro, solar, geothermal and wind resources.
The programme will be implemented in partnership with the International Hydropower Association ( IHA), which has participated in similar initiatives in Asia and South America.
Commenting on the programme, IHA’s Head of Research and Policy, Alex Campbell, said, “We are delighted to support the African Development Bank in this important and urgent project to modernize Africa’s hydropower fleet.”