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Africa Leads the World to Join First-of-Its-Kind Consortium to Deploy 5 GW of Battery Energy Storage Systems

  • Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo are among the 10+ countries who have committed to the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium as first-mover countries with AfDB, the World Bank, IDB, ADB, AFD, RMI, GIZ, Africa 50, Masdar, Infinity Power, AMEA Power, NREL, Net Zero World, and SEforAll signing on as resource partners. 
  • Securing 5 GW of energy storage commitments by the end of 2024 is a key deliverable of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet’s Global Leadership Council, which was formed in 2022 to significantly reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies in LMICs while increasing their accessibility and addressing the climate crisis.
  • Commitments demonstrate progress towards enabling 400 GW of renewable energy by 2030 in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and solving energy poverty. 

Today, at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), The Global Leadership Council (GLC) of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) announced that Barbados, Belize, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo committed to the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium with Indonesia showing strong interest. Through the BESS Consortium, these first-mover countries are part of a collaborative effort to secure 5 gigawatts (GW) of BESS commitments by the end of 2024. In order to achieve the estimated 400 GW of renewable energy needed to alleviate energy poverty by 2030 and save a gigaton of CO2, 90 GW of storage capacity must be developed. The BESS Consortium’s initial 5 GW goal will help create a roadmap for achieving the rest by 2030, demonstrating a key mechanism for accelerating a just energy transition. 

Battery Energy Storage Systems are a critical element to increasing the reliability of grids and accommodating the variable renewable energy sources that are needed to power economic development. In many cases, a combination of BESS and renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. The BESS Consortium is a multi-stakeholder partnership set up to ensure these BESS benefits transform energy systems across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Consortium is on track to meet its target of securing 5 GW of BESS commitments by the end of 2024 and deploying these by the end of 2027. 

BESS Consortium first-mover countries will be supported by resource partners including GEAPP, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), RMI, Africa50, Masdar, Infinity Power, AMEA Power, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Net Zero World, and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), with additional partners and countries expected to join.  

Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway and Co-chair the Global Leadership Council said during the launch, “The Global Leadership Council was formed to expedite change, and bring forward transformative initiatives that will cut emissions, create jobs and expand access to clean and affordable energy in low- and middle-income countries. Three months ago, we committed to establishing the BESS Consortium, and already we have countries, resource partners and champions on board. This is only the beginning, we must continue to move at collective speed and scale.’’

New research from The Rockefeller Foundation shows that keeping global warming from breaking the 2° Celsius threshold will require unprecedented global collaboration. BESS is a critical technology to achieve that goal, but progress is being severely hindered by unfavorable policies and regulations, high financing costs, long project lead times, and other challenges. To accelerate the shift to cleaner and more affordable energy systems, the World Bank and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) recently published a comprehensive framework, “Unlocking the Energy Transition: Guidelines for Planning Solar-Plus-Storage Projects.” Written for policymakers and project developers, the report provides a step-by-step approach to planning and executing utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects, including practical advice on feasibility assessments, business model selection, risk allocation, and navigating the procurement process.

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Co-chair of the Global Leadership Council said, “Without sufficient storage capacity, countries will be unable to add renewable energy to their grids at the scale needed to reduce emissions and create economic opportunity. The BESS Consortium is an example of the sort of big, bold action required to break down the barriers keeping so many people and communities from joining the climate transformations underway.”

In addition to securing 5 GW of BESS commitments in LMICs and deploying $1 billion in concessional finance, the Consortium will accelerate project deployment, work to improve the regulatory environment, build a favorable market for BESS, and unlock commercial and public financing. Countries, utilities, and resource partners in the Consortium will partner to identify and co-develop tailored packages of support for BESS investment. These will be refined and negotiated between country stakeholders and partners with complementary advocacy and accelerating actions championed by the Consortium. 

Joseph Nganga, Interim Managing Director and VP of Africa at GEAPP said, “The Global Energy Alliance’s GLC initiatives including the groundbreaking BESS Consortium are driving real actionable progress.  We are determined to deliver scalable solutions and measurable outcomes at speed by the time world leaders reconvene at COP29 next year. In Malawi for example, we are supporting the Government to deploy and operate a 20MW BESS project which, by 2030, will improve access and power stability for 3M people, improve the lives of 450,000 and avoid 20,000 tons of CO2. Our unwavering dedication to sustainability is leading us to set new benchmarks and inspiring others to join this crucial journey towards a greener future.”

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