EU Pledges Support For Renewable Energy, Governance In Cape Verde

During his first ever visit to the country EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has announced EUR 55 million of new support for Cape Verde during the period 2014 - 2020. The funding will focus specifically on the areas of the fight against poverty, sustainable and inclusive growth and good governance.

The Commissioner will take part in a seminar on renewable energy, during which he will announce the first deployment of the EU's Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy for All in Cape Verde; a new instrument on energy cooperation which will cover the whole of Africa.

The new facility will support Cape Verde authorities in identifying new and innovative project proposals in the energy sector. The European Union will provide the expertise (sharing best practice and providing training, for example) required to achieve Cape Verde's ambitious energy target of providing 50% renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2020.

"Renewable energy is something that I am strongly committed to. Energy in Cape Verde is crucial, for education and healthcare, for growth, tourism and even for the supply of water. In short, renewable energy is the country's main route towards growth and development," Piebalgs said.

"Electricity prices in Cape Verde are sky high and the country has no fossil fuel resources. That's why our new Technical Facility is so important - by providing expertise and innovative solutions it will help to utilize abundant renewable resources such as wind and sun to give people on all of Cape Verde's islands reliable and cost-effective access to electricity and modern energy services through renewable energy," he added.

Piebalgs will later visit the Cabeolica Wind farm project, which was the first large-scale wind project in Africa and has already achieved impressive results; increasing the country's share of renewable energy to 25 per cent in one go. The project is the first renewable energy public/private partnership in sub-Saharan Africa, and it shows how partnerships with development banks working together with the private sector, present a business model that could be successfully replicated in many other countries.

Piebalgs will also meet with President Jorge Carlos Fonseca and Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves during his visit, as well as other high level ministers and representatives from civil society groups.

The EU has already provided EUR 51 million to Cape Verde between 2008 -2013 through the European Development Fund (EDF). As a result of the mid-term review, additional funds (EUR 10.2 million) were also made available.

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