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Africa currently receives only 2% of global solar investment

Investment & Finance

Bloomberg to raise $1 trillion in solar investments for Africa & ISA members

Of the 80 countries in ISA’s membership, 35 of them are African countries which are set to significantly benefit from the initiative.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, a philanthropic organisation founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) have announced a partnership to mobilise $1 trillion in global investments for solar energy across ISA’s member countries. Of the 80 countries in ISA’s membership, 35 of them are African countries which are set to significantly benefit from the initiative. 

The two organisations will kick off the partnership by working with World Resources Institute (WRI) to develop a Solar Investment Action Agenda and a Solar Investment Roadmap, which will be launched at COP26 and in 2022, respectively.

“Global energy demand is rapidly rising, especially in developing countries, and the price of solar power is rapidly falling – but there is not enough of it being deployed,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 “Fixing that requires more collaboration across the public and private sectors, and more data to identify challenges and opportunities – and both will be central to this effort. By speeding up investment in solar power, this new partnership will help to curb the carbon emissions that are heating the planet – while also spurring economic growth, creating jobs, and reducing costs for the public,” Bloomberg added.

The BloombergNEF (BNEF) report, Scaling Up Solar in ISA Member Countries, finds that electricity demand is expected to triple in 75 less developed ISA countries over the next three decades while the cost of utility-scale solar is expected to drop by almost 20% in the next five years.

Solar to help lift people out of poverty

The report’s findings show that solar power is the most economically viable solution for adding new power generation capacity for more than half the world’s population. But in order to capitalize on the benefits of solar energy, help lift people out of energy poverty, and drive the transition to a lower-carbon economy, trillions of dollars in private investment need to be mobilized and the right policy frameworks need to be put in place. 

Drawing on the BNEF analysis, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ISA and WRI will work together to ensure ISA member countries and partners agree on the necessary pathways for scaling up investment and commit to catalyzing USD 1 trillion toward solar energy by 2030. This partnership aims to kickstart the required catalytic investment across ISA member countries through the Solar Investment Action Agenda. The Action Agenda proposes high-impact opportunities for rapidly scaling the delivery of financial mechanisms to meet solar technology needs in different countries.

“Solar energy will play an enormous role in the transition to a more sustainable future but it has to be equitable,” said Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, WRI. “Only 2% of solar investment is going into Africa, even though the continent has vast solar potential and a large number of people without electricity access. We need to make solar investment real to the millions of people who have been left behind. This partnership will identify opportunities for the public and private sector to collaborate and scale solar investment to make this transition possible.”

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