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Lusaka, Monday, May 15, 2017: The quest for adequate, quality, cost-effective, clean and affordable supply of energy in COMESA recently led the Secretariat to undertake a study tour of Italy to explore ways that the region could borrow lessons on developing and increasing the use of renewable energy.

Assistant Secretary General in Charge of Programmes Ambassador Dr. Kipyego Cheluget and the Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for the Eastern and Southern Africa (RAERESA) Dr Mohamedain Seif Elnasr participated in the tour that covered three cities of Rome, Treia and Sassuolo from 2nd to 4th May 2017.

“The purpose of the visit was to initiate knowledge, innovative and learning based cooperation between COMESA and some Italian private sector companies on developing renewable energy in our region,” Ambassador Cheluget said.

He noted that COMESA and the African continent at large have vast untapped potential for all forms of renewable energy which could be unlocked.

“COMESA believes that renewable energy could play a vital role in the energy mix and could be a solution to the energy challenges that many countries are facing,” Amb Cheluget said.
Renewable energy sources have little or no greenhouse gas emissions , making them excellent sources of carbon credits that bring additional income. Some of these renewable energy sources that are expected to play a vital role in the energy mix include small hydro power, bio-energy, solar and wind.

COMESA is also facilitating the removal of barriers for renewable energy development in the region by creating an enabling regulatory environment in Member States. It is also harmonizing them to create a market for large scale deployment of renewable energy technologies.

“Increased investment in renewable energy sources in most countries will spur growth and encourage private sector investment and participation, facilitate trade in renewable energy technologies and promote the use of renewable energy technologies,” Dr Mohamedain told e-Comesa.

He added that it was against this background that COMESA was targeting Italy and other countries to penetrate the renewable energy market by deploying their technology in solar, wind, small hydro power and geothermal among others.

Kenya is leading in the use of geothermal energy while Egypt is leading in wind power. Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda, DR Congo and Madagascar (among others) lead in the use of small hydro power.