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The UK government has announced £100 million of funding for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), which will support up to 40 new renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The new investment is in addition to £48 million previously committed to the REPP.

The programme is already supporting 18 renewable energy projects in a range of countries from Tanzania to Burundi. These projects, featuring solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal technologies, are expected to provide new or improved access for more than 4.5 million people over the project lifetimes, creating 8 000 jobs during development and operation.

UK government pledges additional funding for sub Saharan renewable projects

Developers of small-scale solar, wind, hydro and geothermal projects will be supported to harness each country’s natural resources, and the electricity generated is expected to provide 2.4 million people a year with new or improved access to clean energy. Power produced from new projects funded is expected to save around three million tonnes of carbon over their lifetime, compared with fossil fuel generation – the equivalent to the emissions from burning 21 000 railway cars of coal or from 800 000 cars in a year.

“This £100 million will help communities harness the power of their natural resources to provide hundreds of thousands of people with electricity for the first time. Building these clean, reliable sources of energy will also create thousands of quality jobs in these growing green economies,” says UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.

The 18 projects already receiving support from REPP include hydropower from the Nzoia River in Kenya, providing 290 000 people with energy and creating 330 jobs, as well as solar power for 70 000 people in Kilosa, Tanzania. Other projects include mini grids in Nigeria which will provide 72 rural villages with pay-as-you-go clean, reliable energy, creating 2 500 jobs during construction and 430 when it’s up and running; biomass plants in Ebolowa and Edea in Cameroon, providing enough clean energy for 520 000 people in a rural area; solar power to provide electricity for 87 600 people and in Burundi; and a hydropower plant creating enough power for more than 90 000 people for the first time in a remote part of Tanzania.

The latest funding is part of the UK’s commitment to invest £5.8 billion in international climate finance by 2020. At the recent COP24 meeting, the UK also announced £15.6 million to help countries vulnerable to climate change have a voice in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and £771,000 to help developing countries take part in COP24. The country has also allocated an additional £45 million to the ‘Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions’ (NAMA) Facility to help reduce emissions within an economic sector and an additional £1 million for the Global Innovation Lab, which helps innovative climate finance proposals move more quickly to implementation and attract funding.

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