The sum of one million dollars has been approved by the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for the revamping of Africa’s aging hydropower fleet.
This was according to an AfDB statement, which stressed that modernizing hydropower stations provides a chance to boost generation capacity at a low cost, with short lead times and minimal environmental impact.
The grant would also be used to map and evaluate the rehabilitation needs of African hydropower facilities, according to the statement.
It would also help to get two pilot facilities’ modernization projects to a bankable stage.
The move is expected to add 200 megawatts of generation capacity, 150 jobs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 300 kilotons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the announcement.
Modern hydropower, it was noted, plays a vital part in Africa’s energy transition, lowering reliance on fossil fuels and anchoring higher shares of variable renewable energy sources.
The AfDB’s Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Dr Daniel Schroth, was quoted in the statement as saying, “This transformative programme under SEFA’s Green Baseload component will specifically capitalise on the significant market opportunity for the rehabilitation of Africa’s existing hydropower plants.”
SEFA is managed by the African Development Bank, and the project is fully aligned with the bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to provide Africans with universal access to energy and prioritizes low-carbon technologies that harness the continent’s hydro, solar, geothermal, and wind resources.
The project would be carried out in collaboration with the International Hydropower Association (IHA).