The African continent needs energy to reach sustainable socio-economic development according to Burundian experts, it cannot be achieved if there is absence of affordable energy for all hence the AJAETI initiative which aims to avail to all Africans with access to clean energy.
The Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition in Africa (AJAETI) initiative’s main objective, according to as reported COP27 President HE Sameh Shoukry, is to drive economic growth and support job creation across Africa to build a modern, resilient, and sustainable energy systems across the continent.
Africa has a wealth of untapped resources that could be put to use in the manufacturing of renewable energy tools like electric batteries, wind turbines and other low-carbon technologies to support global mitigation efforts.
For Burundi, environment diversification especially water bodies could ride the energy transition if well monitored as reported economic experts.
Reached out, Faustin Ndikumana, an economic expert reported that Burundi has a diversity of power generation sources including hydroelectric power, representing 95% of total production that go beyond even its borders.
“we have also energy from other renewable (wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal) and coal power plants, however, there is a need for equitable energy resources for all countries especially countries that share borders and resources such as rivers and lakes”,he said.
The hydropower capacity is estimated at 1700MW out of which 300MW is deemed economically viable, while the potential in solar energy is estimated at 2000kWh/ m2/day reported African Development Bank.
According to World Bank data, only one in 10 Burundians have access to electricity in the country and this drops to only 2% in rural areas.
The Director of REGIDESO, Albert Manigomba reported that the initiative comes in due time where Burundi’s energy sector is being revamped moving to renewable energy as well as availing energy nationwide.
“The President of Burundi has lunched the initiative to electrify the whole country by 2027”, he said.
The initiative will engage the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to provide possible pathways and scenarios for African countries, based on archetypes and resource endowments, for the most rapid and sustainable achievement of access.
AJAETI aims to focus on three key objectives:
1. Consolidate and facilitate technical and policy support that will make just and affordable energy transitions in all African countries financially viable, securing access to affordable energy by 2027 for at least 300 million Africans, contributing to SDG 7.1 target of universal access by 2030.
2. Transition 300 million out of the 970 million, who do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, towards clean cooking by 2027, contributing to SDG 7.1 target of universal access by 2030.
3. Transition towards green energy by increasing the share of renewable electricity generation by 25 percentage points by 2027 and obtain a power sector based on renewables by 2063, in line with the “Africa We Want” agenda.
#COP27 | Energy Day#EnergyDay addressed different aspects of the essential inter linkage between energy and climate change, particularly tackling the climate crisis through renewable energy and energy transformation. pic.twitter.com/juIFdagHO8
— COP27 (@COP27P) November 15, 2022
While opening of the Energy Thematic Day, COP27 President HE Sameh Shoukry reported that energy is one of the most carbon-intensive sectors in any given economy, making it one of the most important areas to effect meaningful mitigation measures that contribute to addressing climate change and transitioning to a green economy for the future.
“Science is clear: global emissions need to be reduced by half by 2030, reaching net-zero by 2050. To achieve this, we need to invest in new sources of energy that are clean, affordable, accessible, sustainable and reliable,” said Shoukry.
According to the International Energy Agency’s most recent World Energy Outlook report, potential for faster progress in the field of renewable energy is enormous if strong action is taken immediately to enhance investments in clean electricity and electrification, along with expanding and modernizing grids, offering clear and cost-effective opportunities to cut emissions more rapidly while bringing electricity costs down from their current highs.
The African continent is a prime example of the necessity of this just transition, with millions of Africans lacking access to clean and affordable energy despite the continent’s huge potential for renewable energy production, including from solar, wind and green hydrogen.
According to Dr Mohamed Shaker, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy COP27 represents an opportunity for the energy transition in Africa to be bold and long-lasting. We can develop a new model of cooperation to meet the commitment to universal access by 2030 and energy demands of Agenda 2063.
“It is paramount to establishing a solid, broadly supported trajectory at COP27 for the just and equitable energy transition in Africa,” said Dr Mohamed
To date, the World Bank is investing in the country to develop objective of “Solar Energy in Local Communities Project” which is to expand access to energy services for households, enterprises, schools and health centers in rural areas of Burundi.
This article has been published with support from MESHA/IDRC grant for coverage of COP-27 by African science journalists