Twenty renewable energy organisations have signed the renewAfrica initiative, a scheme to encourage the acceleration of renewable energy in Africa.

The initiative was launched in Rome on 4 June, when the non-binding declaration of intent was signed by groups including Enel Green Power, Nordex, Siemens Gamesa and Vestas. The event in Rome was attended by UN executive secretary for Africa Vera Songwe and Anne-Charlotte Bournoville from the European Commission (EC).

The aim of renewAfrica is to ‘decisively change’ renewable access through partnerships between the public and private sector to create a ‘favourable environment’ for investments in green energy. renewAfrica will also ask companies to create a suitable and sustainable instrument to support investments all the way through the development stages of a project.

It is expected that investment in Africa will reach €150bn by 2030 with 118GW of renewable energy installed. Solar and hydropower will be the key sources of energy installed, with wind and geothermal also featuring.

UN special envoy for Africa Romano Prodi said: “In order to trigger the revolution of renewables in Africa, we need a strong political strategy: a robust synergy with the European Commission, and a close relationship with the African Union.

“If there will be 54 different African policies, it will be a disaster, so it is necessary to have a common regulatory framework with simple and clear rules for all.”

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Enel CEO Antonio Cammisecra added: “European industry, academia, investors and think-tanks are the perfect players to provide industry experience on what is necessary to bring about the transformation of the energy sector. renewAfrica will be a turning point for the future of sustainable energy in Africa.”

The company also tweeted: “We’re accelerating the energy transition in Africa by signing the declaration of intent that marks the launch of the renewAfrica Initiative, a push to promote European investments in renewable energy on the African continent.”

The initiative will be presented to the African Union at the RES4Africa Foundation’s conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 19 June.