The International Conference on Renewable Energy in Angola will allow a reflection on the situation of our country
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was with great pleasure that I received the invitation to participate in the International Conference on Renewable Energy in Angola, with important topics on the agenda and which, surely, from now on will allow for a good reflection on the situation of our country, but also the use of knowledge and experiences from other realities.
The challenges of the Energy and Water Sector are significant and complex, mainly due to the preponderant role that this sector occupies in the economic and social development of the Country.
The population's needs are pressing and grow with the number of inhabitants and, for this reason, the perseverance to improve must always be constant.
In Angola, in the last five years, it has been made a notable progress in the field of electricity production, whose capacity has reached 6 GW, an increase of more than 50%.
The construction of the Laúca Hydroelectric Power Station, and the Expansion of the Cambambe Hydroelectric Power Plant, contributed to the energy matrix becoming predominantly renewable, with 60% of water contribution.
In the near future, with the completion of the Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric Power Plant and the construction of the planned Photovoltaic Parks, the installed capacity will exceed 8 GW and the contribution of renewable sources in the energy matrix will exceed 72%, placing Angola at the forefront of the countries with the highest penetration of renewable energies in its energy matrix.
Another major challenge is to raise the rate of electricity access to 50% by 2025, against the current 42.8%, in a universe of 33 million inhabitants.
Another ongoing development has to do with the expansion of distribution capacity, with the interconnection of the Central and South regions and the North and East regions, integrating at least seven more provinces and continuing to expand distribution networks throughout the territory.
With this, the country will save hundreds of millions of liters of fuel that are consumed annually in thermal power stations and more than one million new household connections will be made, allowing the country, in the middle of the present decade, to reach an electrification rate of 50%, considering the population universe of 33 million inhabitants.
Rural electrification is particularly relevant in the current program, mainly for socio-environmental reasons, and it is estimated that the population registered in 2014 and living in rural areas of the country may finally begin to feel the benefits of electricity in their homes.
This will be possible with the adoption of electrification solutions with the use of photovoltaic energy and grid extension, where it is more economical.
Recently, two important electrification projects were approved, one directed towards the eastern region, comprising the Provinces of Moxico, Lundas Norte and Sul, Malanje and part of Bié and the other covering the southern region of the country, namely the Provinces of Cunene, Namibe, Huíla and Cuando Cubango and directly benefiting more than one million people.
Within the scope of these projects, to be concluded in the next three years, around 1 GW of photovoltaic energy should be installed, of which 500 MW will be on-grid solutions and the remaining 500 MW in off-grid solutions, distributed in more than 150 mini-grids. and microgrids, with storage in batteries.
Earlier, during this year, 370 MW of photovoltaic capacity should be operational, with 280 MW in two on-grid parks in the Benguela region and the rest in five hybrid parks in the localities of Cuíto, Bailundo, Lucapa, Luena and Saurimo.
The investment in question is public, but there have also been efforts to establish private investment projects, with the contract for the construction of the photovoltaic park at Caraculo, with 50 MW, in Namibe Province, and the park being in the final negotiation phase. Quilemba photovoltaic plant, in Huila, with the same capacity as the previous one.
It would be desirable if we already had the possibility of counting on more private investment in energy production, but we recognize that there is a need to make the current regulatory framework more attractive, as well as to find solutions to cover the risks to be assumed by the granting authority, as the risk against default and exchange rate risk, for which we seek satisfactory answers or solutions.
The autonomy of the regulatory authority, which will soon be under the direct supervision of the Holder of the Executive Power and the reinforcement of its powers, such as the setting of prices, allied to the new methodology for projecting tariffs, already approved and which will guarantee that, more and more, prices reflect costs, without distinction between public and private or independent producers, will show that we are on the right track.
We are grateful for the assistance and sponsorship given to us in the ongoing reform process by international institutions such as the World Bank, IFC, the European Union, the African Investment Bank and the Government of Norway, among others.
We need more support in this area, particularly in drawing up the vision for the energy transition to hydrogen, as we need to reflect on strategic decisions that align our actions with those of the rest of the world.
We also need, in the legal field, to reflect on the creation of the National Electrification Fund and the National Agency for Rural Electrification, provided for in the General Electricity Law, as a solution for conducting rural electrification in the country.
The country intends to take more significant steps in the use of a resource that we have abundantly and that is low cost, which is the sun.
Indeed, Angola has a high potential as a solar resource, with an average annual global radiation in the horizontal plane between 1370 and 2100 KWh/m2/year.
Based on this resource, the National Strategy for Renewable Energies predicted the possibility of installing solar parks estimated at 55,000 MW, that is, almost ten times more than all the production capacity currently installed in the country.
Although the photovoltaic energy used on a large scale is an intermittent source, it will be important in preserving the levels of the reservoirs of the main dams and in the reduction of thermal production, both diesel and gas.
His Excellency, the President of the Republic, assumed at the Climate Summit, held in Glasgow, on 2 November 2021, the commitment to reach a 72% contribution from clean sources in the energy matrix by 2025.
This challenge presupposes that we continue to develop the energy security strategy, and ensure the construction of projects with new sources of non-conventional renewable energy production, such as solar, wind and biomass energy, with some projects already underway in the different regions of our country, in what is undoubtedly a great bet to achieve this objective.
In these two working days of the International Conference on Renewable Energy in Angola, important subjects were organized in six panels, including the Status of Renewables in Angola, the Institutional and Legal Framework, Projects connected to the Grid, Off Grid, also including Home Solutions with Small Individual Photovoltaic Systems, in addition to the essential Education and Training. There was also a Round Table on the financing of Renewable Energy projects. Also of great importance was the Energy Transition Approach including Green Hydrogen as one of the solutions.
This is the first Conference to address this issue, which we have held in the country and, certainly, the experience to be acquired will move us to other experiences, or initiatives for which we will continue to count on the collaboration of our partners at ASAER - Angolan Association of Renewable Energies, in addition to the representations of the different countries that make up the ALER - Lusophone Association of Renewable Energies, an entity to which I have the pleasure of announcing our affiliation.
Best wishes in the works.
Thank you very much.
João Baptista Borges
Minister of Energy and Water of Angola