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Transforming Africa’s Energy Sector: Lessons from International Experience

Kenneth Odero

What lessons can Africa learn from international experience in implementing renewable energy projects? Experience suggests that choice of policy instruments, policy design, and complexity of the policy package (or regulatory regime) should be tailored to the actual conditions of the system in the type of market, supply or demand volume, and nature and level of risks, as well as institutional and administrative capacity. Against a backdrop of policy instruments for renewable energy, we borrow from the Brazilian and Indian examples to demonstrate, firstly that a tailor made approach is necessary in Africa, and secondly, renewable energy policy performance depends on a number of key factors. Both Brazil and India have exhibited sustained renewable energy market growth over the years, which can be adduced to a number of factors: (a) strong government commitment (most notably in India); (b) the creation of institutions exclusively focused on renewable energy development at the central and state levels (India); (c) the existence of a growing domestic equipment manufacturing industry (in India, but also emerging in Brazil); (d) a sustained effort toward attracting private sector participation (Brazil, India); and (e) the existence of either a tight reserve margin or a large supply demand gap, which has signaled the need for new capacity investments, among others.

Dr. Odero is the Executive Director of Climate XL Africa, an international Climate change not-for-profit organization.


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