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Africa: Electricity

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects the UK is involved in to develop the electricity supply in Africa; and what studies he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on carbon emissions from increasing electricity use in Africa. (138863)

At the Gleneagles summit in 2005, the UK secured G8 agreement that the World Bank should lead on establishing a new clean energy investment framework (CEIF), which would operate as part of the international financing system. The aim of this framework is to increase public and private sector investment in cleaner energy in developing countries.

The World Bank’s action plan for the CEIF has three main parts, one of which is to increase energy access in Africa. This includes giving greater attention to Africa’s need for increased electricity generation, transmission and household electrification.

The World Bank is starting discussions with some African governments about how the action plan can be implemented, aimed at improving access by households to modern energy services.

The UK has committed over £15 million to the CEIF so far, including £3 million for technical support in developing the CEIF and supporting discussions in developing countries. We will consider with the World Bank what additional support may be needed in particular countries.

Africa’s energy-related carbon emissions are very small compared to industrialised regions and likely to remain so in the foreseeable future. We have not commissioned or evaluated the carbon emissions from increasing electricity use in Africa, although some data and predictions are compiled by the International Energy Agency.