Lucy Pearson, Climate Parliament
17. Feb. 2023
GGI Africa Working Group meeting, Dinokeng Game Reserve, South Africa
As countries increase their climate ambition and aim to integrate ever-larger volumes of renewable energy into their electricity networks, regional power trading is becoming increasingly important. The more interconnected a nation’s grid with those of neighbouring countries, the greater the potential for cross-border power trading to even out the natural variability of renewable power sources. This enables a cheaper, more efficient transition to an economy powered by clean energy.
The Green Grids Initiative is designed to accelerate this process in key markets, and was launched during COP26 in Glasgow. Having established the global action plan for the initiative at previous workshops, we are now running workshops to develop detailed plans to support specific interconnection initiatives at the regional level.
The Green Grids Initiative Africa Working Group (GGIA WG) will convene a retreat/workshop on 16 and 17 February 2023 in South Africa, to discuss support for prioritised regional transmission projects that have the potential to integrate renewable energy generation.
This is in the context of the consideration of ZiZaBoNa (involving Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia) as a ‘proof-of-concept’ project for climate financing, noting the outcomes of a preliminary modelling exercise that was undertaken through the Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) Programme. Prospective linkages with the SAPP’s Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility (RTIFF) and other relevant financing mechanisms will also be explored.
The retreat will also offer an opportunity to discuss other priority regional transmission interconnectors that have the potential to facilitate decarbonisation through the integration of renewable energy generation – also considering the development of the Continental Power System Masterplan (CMP) that is currently underway.
The GGI Africa Working Group: The GGIA forms part of the GGI Ecosystem of regional and thematic working groups and partners driving forward the core aims of the initiative as outlined in the One Sun Declaration. It has been active since August 2021 and is led by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The GGIA seeks to accelerate the development of resilient transmission grids, which enable the large-scale integration of renewable energy generation in support of sustainable development and the global transition to clean power, building on existing transmission grid integration initiatives on the African continent.