Urgent action is needed to keep up with increasing worldwide demand for electricity. This will require an investment of $131 trillion in renewables by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
That need is particularly acute in Africa, where by 2030 more than 600 million people will be living without electricity – 36 per cent of the population.
Last year, when Bentoe Tehoungue, Director of Family Health at Liberia’s Ministry of Health, sent out an email asking for help in facing the Covid-19 pandemic, her principal request was for electricity. Health workers all over Africa are using unreliable and even dangerous sources of light, postponing diagnosis and critical treatment or sending patients away.
Until a solar power project helped out, the Community Secondary School Ebenebe in Nigeria was without access to electricity for years, selling palm fruits in order to rent a generator to allow final-year students to carry out practical computer exams.
There’s no doubt that renewables need to be the answer to Africa’s rising energy requirements. It is the second most-inhabited region in the world after Asia and the fastest-growing continent in demographic terms. By 2030, more than 50 per cent of the population will be living in cities.
While African economic growth is projected to accelerate, it’s not yet enough to address the structural challenges.
That’s why Intesa Sanpaolo has become the first Italian bank to join the Climate Investment Platform (CIP), which brings together public and private financial institutions to support the implementation of renewable energy projects around the world.
CIP is indeed a partnership between:
· the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA);
· Sustainable Energy for All;
· the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
· and the Green Climate Fund.
It works to scale up financing to assist countries – particularly developing regions such as Africa – in achieving ambitious climate goals.
IRENA works with 180 countries to support a sustainable energy future. Under the CIP; Intesa Sanpaolo will offer its international experience in financing the construction of large-scale clean energy installations; together with its network of relationships in the major capital markets and the assistance needed to ensure the bankability of projects that meet the highest ESG criteria.