IFC and Gaia Energy partner to enhance renewable energy development across Africa
Renewable energy offers a great potential to accelerate access to clean, affordable electricity and to attract private investment that will create jobs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has entered into a new partnership with Gaia Energy, a leading independent large-scale renewable energy developer in the MEA region to create a joint platform for the development of wind power and other renewable energy projects in Africa.
The new platform will begin with a pipeline of 22 projects in nine countries in North, West and East Africa, representing a pipeline under development of more than 3 gigawatts. Originally developed by Gaia Energy, this pipeline will be progressively enlarged to new countries across the continent.
"IFC's expertise in financial structuring and mobilization, as well as its environmental and social safeguards ideally, complements Gaia's tailor-made approach to develop projects in new markets. Our partnership is a key step in expanding our business in the countries where we are present, and hopefully beyond. IFC and Gaia share the same values and vision regarding sustainability and the importance of South/South Cooperation to build tomorrow's Africa. Both work to power the continent through the adoption of renewable energies and sustainable development principles," said Moundir Zniber, Founder and President of Gaia Energy.
Energy is core to the development and provides a conducive environment for industries and businesses thrive and spur economic growth. A large share of the world's total energy-deficit population (about 650 million) resides in Africa, making it the largest concentration of people in the world without electricity access.
Taking the above figure into account, a substantial acceleration of efforts and investments is the need of the hour to attain sustainability to ensure that no one is left behind. Renewable energy offers a great potential to accelerate access to clean, affordable electricity and to attract private investment that will create jobs.
Replacing carbon-intensive energy sources with renewable energy not only fulfills the growing energy demand but also significantly,
- Reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Improve public health with the reduced pollution level
- Improve economy by creating value chains for development and job creation
- Contribute to eliminating the energy poverty
- Improve reliability, since renewable like wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower etc are less prone to failure. For instance, weather disruptions at one particular geographical area won't affect the power supply to the entire region
The joint platform will be implemented under IFC InfraVentures, a USD 150 million global infrastructure project development fund created as part of the World Bank Group's efforts to increase the pipeline of bankable projects in developing countries. It will also be supported by the €114-million Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, which helps spur private sector financing for climate change solutions, especially innovative and early-stage projects in emerging markets.
While adopting the highest international technical standards, Gaia is the first African company having a prevalence in 10 energy markets under development. The core mission of Gaia is to develop, finance, and bring to COD large-scale, renewable energy projects in emerging markets.