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Global Energy Alliance to boost energy access and reduce emissions in 12 countries including Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 November 2022:

Since its launch at COP26, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) has accelerated clean energy solutions to support economic development and climate priorities across 12 countries on multiple continents, with plans to expand to seven more countries next year.

Highlights of GEAPP’s strong first year include:

  • Committed over $350 million to catalyze additional development and commercial finance. GEAPP’s investment of $40M in five initiatives alone is accelerating an additional $630M in development capital.
  • Partnered with governments in 12 countries, soon to be 19, advancing their national agendas for better energy access, faster decarbonization, jobs growth and economic development.
  • Widened the Alliance with the addition of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), thus increasing the Alliance to 19 partners and aligned co-investment capacity to $11.5bn.
  • Released its inaugural impact report, Powering People and Planet, with initial focus on robust impact methodology and updates on 2022 country programs.

The Alliance was formed in 2021 to catalyze clean energy technologies and new pools of finance to bring reliable, livelihood-enhancing energy to the nearly 3.6 billion people who lack it. Working with developing countries, the Alliance seeks to foster collaboration and speed in harnessing the considerable human and financial resources needed to reduce energy poverty while combating climate change.

GEAPP has already made important strides toward the goals of increased energy access, reduced emissions, and enhanced livelihoods. In all, building on the projects of its philanthropic founders, it has:

  • Added more than 245,000 new or improved energy connections
  • Impacted over 1 million lives
  • Enabled 25 MW renewable energy capacity
  • Averted or avoided 117,000 tons of carbon

“It is unacceptable that half our global population still does not have access to reliable energy that is essential for healthy lives and productive livelihoods,” said Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s Prime Minister and co-chair of GEAPP’s Global Leadership Council. “New clean energy projects in 2021 produced a quarter of the electricity needed to end energy poverty, except nearly all of this occurred in developed economies. We must move faster and find innovative new models when business-as-usual is not effective. Norway is glad to be working with GEAPP. I invite more to partner with us.”

The Alliance is now operating in 12 countries across Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Uganda); Asia (India, Indonesia, and Myanmar) and Latin America (Haiti and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico). Following its first Call for Country Partnerships at COP26, the Alliance is commencing work with Vietnam, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Colombia, Pakistan, and Panama.

Heads of state for Alliance country partners emphasize the need for urgent action across national and regional borders to increase energy access in ways that address the global imperative to reduce carbon emissions.

“Malawi urgently needs to address its energy access challenges for our people, in line with our socioeconomic transformation agenda and Vision 2063,” said Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi. “We are working closely and swiftly with GEAPP and already deriving benefit from the Alliance’s support of our government delivery capacity; piloting large-scale battery storage to stabilize the intermittency of our renewables; and energizing our agro-industry to improve livelihoods and jobs. We welcome the memorandum of understanding signed today for the installation of a utility-scale grid-integrated battery energy storage system for grid stabilization. ”

Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, Daniel Mminele, said, “The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet was formed just last year and has quickly got to work with South Africa.  We value our relationship with GEAPP and appreciate the way in which it has embraced South Africa’s Just Transition, providing early and important support to help us build our capacity.”

Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said, “it is time for all stakeholders to move from pledges to implementation, which is why Egypt welcomes GEAPP’s total focus on action and outcomes with the already rapid deployment of capital and technical assistance to achieve real climate and development outcomes in this critical decade.”

“The dual problems of energy poverty and decarbonization form the defining challenge of our time,” said Simon Harford, GEAPP’s CEO. “GEAPP has moved fast in our first 12 months to launch replicable models that apply technology and innovation, support entrepreneurship, deploy targeted risk capital, and address obstacles to viable private sector solutions. We applaud governments focused on the effective delivery and enabling environments needed for energy investment. Together with our Alliance partners we are determined to be innovative in driving progress for better access and more clean energy.  This is just the beginning, and we are committed to building successful long-term partnerships across the Alliance that jointly deliver concrete outcomes. We invite others impatient for progress to join us in scaling clean energy that is at the heart of development, livelihoods and growth.”

The majority of the people living without any access to energy today are in Africa, which only received 1.1% of total wind and solar capacity deployed in 2021. Some highlights of GEAPP’s work here in 2022 include:

  • South Africa. Supporting across government to advance the country’s Just Energy Transition (JET) agenda. This includes coordinated government delivery capacity; supporting the Presidential Climate Commission’s critical work building broad societal support; and partnering with public utility Eskom to launch its Komati Renewable Energy Training Facility, the first to support the training and transition of coal-fired power station workers to new clean energy jobs.
  • Ethiopia. Working with the government and Alliance partners to increase demand and support productive use of electrification, by deploying renewables in rural areas to grow jobs, livelihoods and entrepreneurship; and launching the DREAM initiative, which is building the first solar mini-grid-powered large-scale irrigation systems in Africa to provide farmers with reliable and affordable irrigation.
  • Nigeria. Working with the government and Alliance partners across multiple initiatives to create systemic improvements in the energy sector, including bespoke financing to the off-grid sector; delivery capacity to implement Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan; improving private sector investment with the launch of an innovative local currency financing facility; reducing the cost of clean energy technology via an innovative pooled procurement solution.

To illustrate its first year’s work and priority to measure its impact outcomes, the Alliance is today publishing its first impact report, Powering People and Planet. The report highlights that, should energy-poor countries pursue development with fossil-fuels rather than scale renewables, they would produce 75% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2050. It also identifies that universal energy access can be achieved with clean energy sources, a path that would reduce emissions in energy-poor countries by 58% while also significantly growing local economies.

Contrary to some perceptions, clean energy solutions are now often the cheapest available power sources – while also being swifter to install than fossil fuel-powered generation. Future Alliance impact reports will track progress of initiatives and their outcomes for energy access, reduced carbon emissions and enhanced livelihoods.

About the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) is an alliance of philanthropy, entrepreneurs, governments in emerging and developed economies, and technology, policy, and financing partners. Our common mission is to support developing countries’ shift to a clean energy, pro-growth model that ensures universal energy access and unlocks a new era of inclusive economic growth, while enabling the global community to meet critical climate goals during the next decade. In doing so, as an Alliance we aim to enable 150 million sustainable livelihoods, reduce 4 gigatons of future carbon emissions, and expand clean energy access to one billion people. With philanthropic partners IKEA Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund, GEAPP works to build the enabling environment, capacity, and market conditions for private sector solutions, catalyze new business models through innovation and entrepreneurship, and deploy high-risk capital to encourage private sector solutions, and assist just transition solutions.