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Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

European Union plans to invest in Mozambican renewable energies

nsnbc : The European Union plans to invest four million euros (about 4.7 million US dollars) in a project to promote renewable energies in Mozambique through the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

Renewable energy_Windmill_solar panels_The parties expect that the financial details of the project will be settled this month. The initiative is named “Project to Promote Auctions for Renewable Energies” (PROLER), and will be implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD), in partnership with Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company EMD.

Launching the project in the Mozambican capital Maputo on Monday, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Leticia Klemens, said the initiative covers several actions that should prove determinant for integrating renewable sources into the Mozambican electricity grid. Klemens added:

“The policy and strategy of the government for the energy sector sets out as the main objectives increased access, improved quality and secure supply. … Achieving these goals requires an energy matrix resting on diversifying sources of power generation and their geographical location”.

EDM chairperson Mateus Magala said PROLER will end the direct award by the Ministry of concessions for electrification through solar panels. From now on the process will be handled by EDM through public tenders (hence the reference to auctions in the name).

With the support of the EU and the AFD, EDM will identify an area that could be electrified through renewable sources of power, and will order studies and hire contractors, by resorting to whoever presents the best technical and financial bids in the tenders.

Magala added that the first power station based on solar power, built in Mocuba district, in the central province of Zambezia, should begin commercial operations in August 2018. It will generate 40 megawatts, and is expected to improve the quality of electricity provided in Mocuba and other parts of Zambezia.

 European Union ambassador Sven von Burgsdorff, said Mozambique is registering a growing demand for electricity to drive its economic development, but the energy sector needed to be transformed to meet the challenges imposed by climate change. Bugsdorff added:

“Energy is fundamental throughout the globe, not only for economic growth, but above all for sustainable and inclusive development. … In Mozambique, the challenges are immense. It is enough to note that two thirds of the population have no access to a reliable electricity supply, and that the majority still depends on biomass for cooking”.

Mozambique aims to become the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the mid 2020s. The country has also launched domestic infrastructure projects based in natural gas.

However, Mozambique has a substantial deficit with regard to the development of energy infrastructure in rural areas where sustainable energy projects based on solar power and wind could be significantly more cost-effective, flexible and scalable than infrastructure based on pipelines and hydrocarbons.

CH/L – nsnbc 12.10.2017

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