In June 2023, Power Africa marks 10 years of Powering Potential. The stories, data, images, and videos below demonstrate how our unique partnership is improving lives and empowering people and businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
“A light where there is currently darkness; the energy needed to lift people out of poverty – that’s what opportunity looks like.” – President Barack Obama, June 30, 2013
POWERING POTENTIAL FOR 10 YEARS
Over 590 million people lack dependable access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa, an innovative U.S. Government-led partnership created to address this challenge. Power Africa now convenes the collective resources of more than 200 U.S. and global public and private sector partners to increase just and inclusive energy access, mitigate climate change, and end energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.
Power Africa’s early goals were to add 10,000 MW and 20 million connections by 2030 in six focus countries. In 2014, we tripled our goals and expanded our on-the-ground technical support to more than 40 countries. Today, through the power of partnership, Power Africa is creating connections to turn more Lights On!
PROGRESS TOWARDS OUR GOALS
Connect new homes and businesses
Add more cleaner and reliable electricity generation capacity
People with new or improved electricity
POWER AFRICA MILESTONES
This bipartisan legislation passed both houses of Congress unanimously and became law in early 2016, institutionalizing Power Africa through legislation and signaling that expanding electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa is a long-term foreign policy priority of the U.S. Government.
The 100 MW Metehara Solar project is Ethiopia’s first competitively procured solar PV project. Power Africa provided advisory services for the procurement and development of the Metehara project, as well as funding for the development of the PPA.
Power Africa technical assistance to four electricity distribution companies resulted in more than $160 million in additional revenue collection to strengthen the utilities and the sector. Today, Power Africa is supporting national efforts to install 6.5 million smart meters to reduce energy consumption and enable better grid management.
South Africa’s Renewable Energy Future
In 2017, Power Africa provided financial and legal advisory to unlock more than 2,300 MW of wind and solar potential through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program. These projects represent $5 billion in investment that will create 61,000 jobs. Today, Power Africa is supporting the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) to facilitate a just energy transition that promotes equitable social and economic benefits of a renewable energy future.
Ethiopia’s first geothermal lawand PPP geothermal power project
The Corbetti Geothermal (570 MW) power project is the country’s first privately financed, large-scale power project to harness geothermal resources developed under an IPP model. Power Africa assisted with the development of new laws and regulations to facilitate IPP investments, and advocated for strong and transparent regulatory frameworks.
Salima Solar (60 MW) provides clean electricity to help combat energy poverty. Golomoti Solar (20 MW) is the first of its scale in Southern Africa to include a battery energy storage system, delivering reliable, renewable electricity and strengthening the national grid. Power Africa provided transaction advisory services to integrate battery energy storage system functionality into the project’s financial model. Power Africa developed a bankable financial model and assisted with optimizing Golomoti’s storage capacities and the revenue structure of storage versus direct sales.
The Power Africa-supported Taiba N’Diaye Wind Farm (158.7 MW) is helping Senegal meet its electrification goals and improving the livelihoods of local residents and their communities.
Power Africa and African Development Bank are partnering with the Government of Angola to build critical transmission infrastructure that will improve access to electricity, strengthen the financial viability of the power sector, and connect Angola to regional markets.
Power Africa and the Uganda Solar Energy Association identified nearly 700 sites that are better served by mini-grids than grid infrastructure expansion. The regulation will guide private sector investment and capitalize nearly $200 million in funding from the European Union, a Power Africa partner.
Power Africa facilitated $250 million in financing the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (310 MW), provided technical assistance to modernize grid infrastructure to handle renewable energy, and supported a partial risk guarantee for the associated transmission line.
The Kipeto Wind Farm (100 MW) is comprised of 60 wind turbines supplied by Power Africa partner General Electric. Our technical, legal, and transaction advisory included grid modernization, a $230 million debt facility, and critical wildlife studies that will benefit future wind power projects.
Power Africa assistance helped to operationalize the first 50 MW of the 250 MW Bui Power Authority solar-hydro hybrid project, which doubled Ghana’s grid-connected solar energy and is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 47,000 tons per year.
Launch of Women in African Power (WiAP)
Launched at the 2015 Africa World Economic Forum, Women in African Power convenes and connects established and emerging female leaders in the African energy sector and provides a platform for networking, information exchange, professional mentorship, and new business opportunities.
Power Africa redirected funds to bolster the off-grid energy sector and to assess power loads for hospitals, clinics, and critical care facilities. Ongoing investment in transmission infrastructure and modernization of distribution utilities helped African partners keep medical facilities, homes, and essential services electrified.
One of the largest Global Development Alliances in USAID history, launched in 2022
Convened by Power Africa and USAID’s global health program, the Health Facility Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance leverages more than $150 million to power and digitally-connect 10,000 health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa.
Power Africa sees renewable energy as the most promising approach to meet the energy needs of people who live beyond the reach of national grids. Power Africa prioritizes productive uses of energy as a pillar of our electrification initiatives.
POWER AFRICA BY THE NUMBERS
145 transactions supported by Power Africa reached financial close
14,100 MW reached financial close
87 power projects commissioned and operational
6,600 MW of cleaner and more reliable electricity online
37.5 MILLION new or improved connections to homes and businesses on and off the grid
180 MILLION new beneficiaries gained access to electricity through Power Africa assistance
4,940 KM of power lines reached financial close
7.7 MILLION tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually
46 transaction advisors and embedded advisors deployed in 40+ countries
42 countries have received Power Africa assistance
"We strongly support Power Africa, because without power there can’t be progress. Power is crucial, not only for the attainment of health and education outcomes, but also for reducing the cost of doing business and for unlocking economic potential and creating jobs. Our institutions share the same vision regarding power and we are determined to unlock Africa’s energy potential so that the people of Africa can unlock theirs."
− Kevin Kanina Kariuki, Vice President (Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth)
African Development Bank
POWER AFRICA PRIORITIES
To respond to our 2030 goals and seize new opportunities, Power Africa adapted our strategy to advance sub-Saharan African development through implementing gender-smart and socially responsible investments, expanding renewables, and providing universal access to clean energy.
On-grid and off-grid connections provide energy solutions to rural and peri-urban households, small businesses and industry – delivering clean, reliable electricity, strengthening distribution utilities and infrastructure, improving livelihoods, and providing essential power to healthcare facilities.
A clean-energy future is critical for sub-Saharan Africa, and Power Africa’s holistic approach promotes renewable and cleaner energy technologies to meet the needs of our partners and people across the continent.
79% of our financially closed transactions are based on renewable energy
By encouraging the private sector to play a leading role, Power Africa facilitates investments that connect U.S. and African companies and advance development outcomes. The U.S.-Africa Clean Tech Energy Network bridges new private-sector financial partners to frontier markets where project-ready technology can increase access to reliable electricity – introducing local energy firms to opportunities and promoting direct investment in cleantech enterprises.
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