The British Government has pledged £100m of funding to support up to 40 renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Developers of small-scale solar, wind, hydro and geothermal projects across the region will be eligible to bid for funding. Electricity generated by the supported projects is expected to provide 2.4 million people a year with new or improved access to clean energy.
Among the 18 projects already receiving British support is hydropower from the Nzoia River in Kenya, which is providing 290,000 people with energy and creating 330 jobs.
Another project is harnessing solar power for 70,000 people in Kilosa, Tanzania. This will provide 6,000 people with access to energy for the first time and create 75 jobs in total.
The power which these new projects produce is expected to save around 3 million tonnes of carbon over their lifetime, compared with fossil fuel generation. This is equivalent to the emissions from burning 21,000 railway cars of coal or from 800,000 cars in a year.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “At home we’re world leaders in cutting emissions while growing our economy and abroad we’re showing our international leadership by giving countries a helping hand to shift to greener, cleaner economies.
“This £100m will help communities harness the power of their natural resources to provide hundreds of thousands of people with electricity for the first time. Building these clean, reliable sources of energy will also create thousands of quality jobs in these growing green economies.”
The funding is part of the UK’s commitment to invest £5.8bn in international climate finance by 2020 to encourage ambitious action from other governments, the private sector and communities in the global effort to tackle climate change.
According to the Government, this investment could help unlock an extra £156m of private finance into renewable energy markets in Africa by 2023.