The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, Amani Abou-Zeid, recently said at the 7th PIDA Week held in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to the Commissioner, one such program is the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), which helps East African countries develop the potential of geothermal energy.
“Kenya is a world leader in geothermal development and I am pleased to inform you that this afternoon another milestone will be reached when we sign a $4.6 million grant agreement with the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) to support the further development of this resource,” says Abou-Zeid.
The Commissioner highlighted some of the milestones achieved by the AUC in the energy sector, citing the launch of the Single African Electricity Market (AfSEM) – a framework for trading electricity in a harmonized manner across the continent.
He insisted that an integrated continental electricity market will facilitate the optimization of the abundant energy resources available on the continent and make access to affordable and reliable universal energy a reality.
He noted that currently more than 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity and many still rely on traditional biomass for cooking.
“This has a huge impact on our poverty reduction and human development efforts on the continent.”
He pointed out that Africa has enormous potential in renewable energy, especially in geothermal energy which is a viable energy resource with an estimate of over 15,000 megawatts in the countries of the Eastern Rift System, on which the continent can support to improve the production of energy mix in East Africa. .
She stressed that the plan for this huge market will identify critical generation and interconnection projects that will physically integrate power infrastructure and maximize economies of scale to meet the continent’s growing electricity demand for access to electricity. electricity and increased industrialization.
The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) was established to finance, facilitate and accelerate geothermal development in eleven partner countries in the East African Rift region. It is hosted and managed by the African Union Commission (AUC).
Funding is provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in collaboration with the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU Africa ITF) via the KfW Development Bank (KfW) and the UK Department for international development (DFID).
The GRMF was launched in April 2012 and is implemented in a series of application cycles. The 6th round of applications was launched in May 2020. The GRMF program has a total funding volume of approximately $100 million, which can be increased at the discretion of donors.
The general objective of the GRMF is to encourage public and private sector investment in the production of geothermal energy.
This is achieved by providing financial support to mitigate early-stage exploration risk associated with geothermal power projects to improve project bankability and secure external financing.
The GRMF therefore acts as a catalyst in establishing geothermal energy as a strategic option for the expansion of electricity generation capacity in partner countries.