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UK Government pledges £100m for renewable energy projects in Africa

The UK Government has pledged £100m in funding to boost electricity access to hundreds of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The new investment triples funds for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform to support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years.

The Government says the funding could unlock an extra £156m of private finance into renewable energy markets in Africa by 2023.

The projects will deliver new small-scale solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power, and in total 2.4 million people could be supplied with electricity from them.

The schemes are expected to cut three million tonnes of carbon emissions over their lifetime compared with using fossil fuels to supply the energy, the equivalent of the emissions 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.”

Projects already receiving funding include a scheme to provide solar power to 70,000 people including 6,000 who will have access to energy for the first time in Kilosa, Tanzania, and biomass plants in Ebolowa and Edea, Cameroon, providing enough energy for 520,000 rural people and 460 jobs.

Mini-grids in Nigeria are set to provide 72 rural villages with pay-as-you-go clean energy, in a scheme that will create 2,500 jobs during construction and 430 when it is up and running, and solar power is to provide electricity for 87,600 people and businesses in Burundi.

The government said the funding is part of a £5.8bn investment in international climate finance by 2020 to encourage action from other governments, private sector and communities on climate change.

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