The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $1 million grant for modernization of Africa’s aging hydropower fleet.
The funds will be used for the mapping and evaluation of African hydropower facilities’ rehabilitation needs, the African Development Bank, which manages SEFA, announced on 16 September. It will also support the preparation of some modernization works for two pilot facilities to a bankable stage, a move expected to add 200 MW in generating capacity, create 150 jobs and reduce GHG emissions by about 300 kt of CO2 /year.
The modernization of hydro stations is an opportunity to increase generation capacity at low-cost, and with relatively short lead-times and minimal environmental impact, the African Development Bank has stressed. Modern hydro plays a key role for Africa’s energy transition, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and anchoring larger shares of variable renewable energy.
This transformative programme under SEFA’s Green Baseload component will specifically capitalize on the significant market opportunity for rehabilitation of Africa’s existing hydropower plants, said Dr Daniel Schroth, Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the African Development Bank.