By Sharon Atieno

In a bid to accelerate investment in green energy transitions and renewable power solutions in developing and emerging economies worldwide, Rockefeller Foundation has partnered with other philanthropies, multilateral and development finance institutions, and governments to form the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).

The launch of the Alliance which includes  IKEA Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund, African Development Bank Group and other multinational financial institutions as well as Italy, United Kingdom, and Denmark, took place in Glasgow at a side event of the twenty-sixth Conference of Parties (COP 26).

In a period of ten years, the Alliance seeks to unlock USD 100 billion in public and private capital investment to reach one billion people with reliable renewable energy, avoid and avert four billion tons of carbon emissions, while creating, enabling or improving 150 million jobs.

While energy-poor countries are currently responsible for a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, their share of global emissions could grow tripple by 2050, according to analysis published today by the Alliance.  Yet these countries currently only receive 13% of clean energy financing, despite representing nearly half of the world’s population.  

In Africa, GEAPP is targeting three countries: Nigeria, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These countries are among the most populous in Africa and also with significant populations which are not connected to the national grid,according to William Asiko, Country Manager Rockefeller Foundation in Kenya.

Though the goal is to reduce the number of people who don’t have access to electricity, we will use different approaches, he said.  In Nigeria and Ethiopia the Alliance will put up solar mini grids while in DRC they are targeting the potential of hydropower.

In Nigeria, GEAPP targets to strengthen Nigeria’s decentralized renewable energy sector. They will scale solutions to deploy distributes renewables through distribution utilities while accelerating the deployment of 5, 0000 renewable mini-grids.

According to the Alliance’s estimation, the effort will reach 13.4 million people with productive power and avoid 31.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

In Ethiopia GEAP is working with the Ministry of agriculture, Asiko said, “to support the cluster strategy to build capacity around the value chains, to make sure the market system are working and joining that with the mini-grid solution.”

The move is estimated to increase farmer income by 80%, and improve energy access for over 4.2 million people in the country.  “Ethiopia could be the model for many countries in Africa where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy,” Asiko noted.

In DRC, GEAPP intends to develop and finance renewable energy ‘metro grids’ in more than 25 cities, through funding feasibility studies for expansion of cities, providing grant financing to increase the viability of these projects, and helping to aggregate the USD 1 billion in concessional and commercial capital needed.

This is intended to improve energy access for 4 million people and 30,000 businesses in more than 25 cities, and avoid 4.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Asiko noted that though they are starting with these three countries, they “anticipate that over the next ten years period every African country will be eligible to be part of this programme.”