Accelerating renewable energy deployment with regional integration: a 10 years retrospective on East Africa

The analysis, carried out with Enel Green Power, is the fourth publication of the Connecting the Dots series. Presented during a virtual event, it identifies obstacles, perspectives and recommendations to stimulate RE development in East African countries.

Rome, 30th of November 2023 – Regional market and infrastructure reforms, coupled with industrial policies and innovative advancements, are preparatory to an increase in the deployment of renewable energy sources in East Africa, and for a subsequent stronger resilience and adaptation to climate change. These are the main findings of the new study A challenging transition: Exploring East Africa's Last 10 Years of Renewable Energy, developed in collaboration with Enel Green Power. The publication is the fourth study of the Connecting the Dots series, and it was presented during the virtual event Connecting the Dots: 10 years of renewable energy in East Africa.

East African countries can boast an abundance of renewable energy natural endowments, potentially sufficient to ferry the region towards full and sustainable energy access. In total, East Africa added almost 7 GW of new electricity generation capacity between 2011 to 2021, reaching 16.3 GW in 2021. This substantial increase reflects a commendable effort to diversify the energy mix and meet the growing demands of the region, showcasing a significant commitment to renewable energy development over the past decade.

The new RES4Africa’s publication takes stock of the last 10 years of the East African REs landscape, analysing hindrances, examining political commitment and renewable energy targets, and proposing recommendations for policymaking, sustainable finance, and energy transition pathways. In particular, one of the top priorities emerging from the study and the related online discussion is the necessity to work to achieve a greater market regional integration.

Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa, observed that « Unleashing East Africa's green energy transition can be a driving force for a sustainable socio-economic development. Joint efforts like this one can stimulate dialogue and mitigate the already palpable effects of climate change, for a brighter and greener future in Africa ».

«  To face the present and plan for a sustainable and prosperous energy future in East Africa, we need first to look back at the past 10 years and understand what happened, what did not happen (and why) at the renewable energy sector. That’s what we did with Connecting the dots! ». Stated Luca Traini, Access to Energy and Sub- Saharan Africa Programme Manager at  RES4Africa.

List of Participants ( In order of Intervention):

  • Roberto Vigotti, RES4Africa’s Secretary General;
  • Luca Traini, Access to Energy and Sub- Saharan Africa Programme Manager at RES4Africa;
  • Daniele Guzzo, Access to Energy Manager at RES4Africa;
  • George Aluru, CEO at Electricity Sector Association of Kenya (ESAK);
  • Tommaso Grisi, Regulatory Affairs - Africa, Asia and Oceania Analyst at Enel Green Power;
  • Francesca Corvaglia, Competitor Intelligence, Market Studies & Strategic Analysis at Enel Green Power;
  • Esther Wanza, Entrepreneur and Youth Representative in the International Advisory Board at RES4Africa Foundation.

Download the Press Release

Download the study

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Africa is a continent in continuous transformation, with a sustained economic and population growth, a fast-paced urbanization and a young generation of talents who is leading its business revolution. This transformation requires energy and will require it even more in the next decades.
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