EC commits US$75.5 million to support renewables in Cape Verde



The West African island nation of Cape Verde will receive €55 million (US$75.5 million) of financing between 2014 and 2020 from the European Commission, to assist the development of renewable energy.

EU development commissioner Andreas Piebalgs announced the funding on the occasion of his first ever visit to Cape Verde. The nation has set itself an ambitious target of meeting 50% of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2020.

According to the European Commission, the funding will “focus specifically on the areas of the fight against poverty, sustainable and inclusive growth and good governance”. In addition to supporting Cape Verde in meeting its renewable energy goals, the EU will open the Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy for All in Cape Verde, a centre for energy co-operation for the continent of Africa.

Through the facility, the EU will share knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy sector and assist the Cape Verdean authorities in selecting appropriate project proposals.

During his visit, commissioner Piebalgs said that renewable energy could be the country’s pathway to growth and development.

“Electricity prices in Cape Verde are sky high and the country has no fossil fuel resources,” Piebalgs said. “That’s why our new Technical Facility is so important – by providing expertise and innovative solutions it will help to utilise abundant renewable resources such as wind and sun to give people on all of Cape Verde’s islands reliable and cost-effective access to electricity and modern energy services through renewable energy.”

According to the European Commission, the funding, which follows €51 million (US$70 million) given to Cape Verde for the period 2008 to 2013 through the European Development Fund, “shows the importance that the EU attaches to its relations with Cape Verde”. The European Commission expects to announce further support to the EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership, which focuses on areas of shared strategic interest such as security and stability as well as harmonising technologies and standards to bring them in line with the EU. The EU is currently Cape Verde’s biggest trading partner.

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