The European Union, through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, plans to invest four million euros (about 4.7 million US dollars) in a project to promote renewable energies in Mozambique.
The financial close of the project is expected this month. It is named the “Project to Promote Auctions for Renewable Energies” (PROLER), and will be implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD), in partnership with Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM.
Launching the project in Maputo on Monday, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Leticia Klemens, said the initiative covers several actions that should prove determinant for integrating renewable sources into the Mozambican electricity grid.
“The policy and strategy of the government for the energy sector sets out as the main objectives increased access, improved quality and secure supply”, said Klemens. “Achieving these goals requires an energy matrix resting on diversifying sources of power generation and their geographical location”.
EDM chairperson Mateus Magala said PROLER will end the direct award by the Ministry of concessions for electrification through solar panels. From now on the process will be handled by EDM through public tenders (hence the reference to auctions in the name).
With the support of the EU and the AFD, EDM will identify an area that could be electrified through renewable sources of power, and will order studies and hire contractors, by resorting to whoever presents the best technical and financial bids in the tenders.
Magala added that the first power station based on solar power, built in Mocuba district, in the central province of Zambezia, should begin commercial operations in August 2018. It will generate 40 megawatts, and is expected to improve the quality of electricity provided in Mocuba and other parts of Zambezia.
The EU ambassador, Sven von Burgsdorff, said Mozambique is registering a growing demand for electricity to drive its economic development. But the energy sector needed to be transformed to meet the challenges imposed by climate change.
“Energy is fundamental throughout the globe, not only for economic growth, but above all for sustainable and inclusive development”, said von Burgsdorff. “In Mozambique, the challenges are immense. It is enough to note that two thirds of the population have no access to a reliable electricity supply, and that the majority still depends on biomass for cooking”.