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United States of America

Electrify Africa Act

legislation type Legislative
Passed in 2016
The law legislates the US initiative and goal to provide access to power for at least 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020, and to enable the installation of an additional 20,000 megawatts of electricity capacity by 2020.
The law supports a broad variety of power generation options, including oil, coal and natural gas, hydroelectric power, wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources of power, as well as energy efficiency and distribution and transmission systems upgrades. The Electricity Africa Act however particularly promotes renewable energy projects, as the law requires the U.S. government to promote the spread of distributed renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, including off-grid lighting and power. The priority given to off-grid generation is an endorsement of existing efforts, already carried out by a sub-initiative of Power Africa Initiative (see below).
To create lasting infrastructures, the law seeks to promote policies to facilitate private financing and public-private partnerships, allow independent producers' participation in electricity markets, and encourage other regulatory reforms in the power sector. The law calls on the US to partner with sub-Saharan African countries, international and regional financial institutions and the private sector to meet the above goals and implement a strong monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
The Electricity Africa Act does not allocate new funds to the US agencies, but builds on and backs the Power Africa Initiative, launched in 2013 with a goal of doubling access to electricity across sub-Saharan Africa. The Initiative commits the US to US$7 billion support to the energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
The law requires the President of the U.S. to submit to the US Senate, within 6 months of the law's enactment, a report outlining a multiyear strategy for reaching the objectives of the law.
The Electricity Africa Act also directs U.S. government agencies, such as US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, to prioritize loans, grants and technical support for power generation and transmission projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The President of the U.S. is allowed by the law to establish an interagency working group to coordinate efforts among the agencies.


from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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