The negative impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Renewable Energy sector in Africa

April 29, 2021

11:00 – 13:30 GMT

The Covid-19 pandemic and global economic shocks are testing the resilience of the energy sector in Countries across Africa. While the outlook remains uncertain, these shocks are certain to have major and varied implications for the development of the Continent's energy sector and in particular renewable energy.
Renewable energy has so far been the most resilient energy source to Covid-19 lockdown measures. Accelerating progress in deploying renewable energy can alleviate immediate energy challenges, while creating jobs, advancing industrial development and promoting human welfare. As per IRENA Global Renewables Outlook 2020 report, Africa could meet about 23% of all its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030.
Governments around the world are taking measures to support the energy sector and to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic. These measures vary across Countries and their implication is something that will be well understood over time. The whole range of consequences of the COVID-19 for the energy sector is still evolving and is difficult to predict. In general, the effects of the pandemic for energy systems and the clean energy transitions are still evolving, and there is the need for careful policy considerations to ensure that policy actions taken now do not create adverse effects especially for sustainable energy transitions in the long term. It is, therefore, paramount to document and track various interventions that Governments are taking now in order to examine and better understand the future implications that they present.
AREI is positioning itself as a unifying framework for existing initiatives and other programs on the Continent. AREI will collaborate with and influence them, create the means to exchange best practices and experiences and facilitate the identification and coordination of investment opportunities at the national, regional and continental levels.
The successful implementation of the AREI will create the conditions for renewables to make a significant contribution (300 GW) to meeting the Continent's estimated energy needs of around 600 GW in 2030.
The 2020 work program developed by the AREI IDU has been negatively affected by the pandemic, all the physical meetings were cancelled. However, the AREI IDU has been working in different aspects to keep the momentum and build on the achievements of AREI Phase One. Taking into account the continuation of the pandemic and unclarity on when the situation will go back to normal, the IDU decided to organize a series of virtual experience sharing meetings.
In that regard, this first virtual meeting in 2021 will bring together around 100 participants from the public sector (Ministries, Utilities, Regulatory bodies, Rural Electrification Agencies, Academia, Civil Society), regional bodies, partners, AREI Technical Committee members and AREI country focal points for an update on the progress made during 2020 and the way forward in 2021, as well as to share Countries and Region’s experience during COVID-19 time in addressing the negative impacts of the pandemic on energy sector.
key objectives:

  • Share experience among stakeholders from public sector, stakeholders, and regional bodies on the measures taken by African Governments to address the negative impacts of COVID-19 on energy sector and in particular renewable energy.
  • Update stakeholders on the progress made during 2020 and the way forward on 2021. Any suggestions/ specific requirements from the countries.
  • The role that the AREI can take to support countries efforts post COVID-19.

Guiding questions:

  • How has the African renewable energy sector been affected by COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How are Governments responding to the challenges raised by the pandemic?
  • What lessons are being learned and how can these lessons help the Continent be better prepared and promote its renewable energy sector?
  • How countries see the role of AREI during this pandemic or what the Countries were expecting from AREI during the crisis