ALER is positioning itself on a new level
At the end of last year, ALER's Members unanimously approved the Activities Plan and Budget for 2024. This marks the beginning of a new stage for the Association and its growth alongside the sector's evolution.
At its foundation, ALER's focus was on compiling information on the renewable energy market in Portuguese-speaking African countries and publicising the state of play and business opportunities. We accompanied and contributed to the development of the sector's institutional framework, but above all, we created a relationship and collaborated with all the stakeholders, including governamental, private and cooperation partners.
This has been possible thanks to the support of important Associates, from the companies with the first renewable energy projects in the various countries to the Ministries of Energy, as well as the partners who have financed our activities and ambitions. Everyone's trust and collaboration has enabled us to reach the end of 2023 ready for a new stage.
In the beginning, we were the only association dedicated to these countries, today we have five sisterly associations, and many other international ones equally interested in exploring the potential of renewable energies in Portuguese-speaking African countries. In addition, we have seen an increase of cooperation partners and their funding programmes.
Having fulfilled our mission of publicising this potential and creating the conditions to stimulate it at a national level, we can now broaden our scope and take on a more regional and intersectoral dimension.
In this sense, 2024 will see ALER dedicate itself to two new markets. In geographical terms, we will deepen our relations with Brazil, and in thematic terms, we will monitor climate issues. This will be done in preparation and anticipation of the great event of 2025 in which these two intentions meet, COP30, to be held in Belém do Pará, in the heart of the Amazon, in Brazil.
Regarding Brazil, we want to leverage the institutional and business experience in renewable energy projects of this Portuguese-speaking giant in favour of African markets, both for more mature technologies such as solar, wind and biofuels, but also for new technologies such as hydrogen. It will also be important to share and publicise this country's journey in developing its regulatory framework and financing the sector.
As we operate in countries that are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it also makes sense for us to monitor climate issues and promote the contribution of renewable energies to mitigating these effects, which has already been recognised in the national energy transition and decarbonisation strategies recently presented at COP28. We intend to explore the various climate finance options and channel them towards renewable energy projects in Portuguese-speaking African countries.
In addition to these new axes, we will continue to work at national level in cooperation with the National Associations and our Members on issues with huge potential, such as mini-grids, self-consumption projects and the role of national banking. We will also maintain our well-known events and publications, such as the RenMoz Conference and Briefing, as the fourth editions will return in November.
Regional cooperation will be ALER's future focus. On the one hand, knowing the renewable energy context of each country, we want to promote exchanges between them, so that best practices can be shared. On the other hand, in terms of climate, we want to strengthen Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly those in Africa, to have greater negotiating power and access to the resources available worldwide. In this way, we can put into practice the African saying that "Alone we go faster, but together we go further".
It is with great enthusiasm that we enter 2024, certain that renewable energies are essential to achieve the goals of universal access to energy and to fight climate change, and that the next few years until the end of the decade will be crucial!
We are counting on everyone to support us in this mission and that's why we invite you to join ALER as Associates or partners. Our doors are always open!
Isabel Cancela de Abreu
Executive Director of ALER