Capacity Building for Renewable Energy Auctions in Eastern and Southern Africa

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has been assisting countries and regions to create frameworks more conducive to renewable energy investments through tailored engagement strategies. In this context, the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC); a regional initiative within the Eastern (EAPP) and Southern Africa Power Pools (SAPP), is guided by the Ministerial Communiqué that endorsed the ACEC_Action_Agenda in January 2014. The initiative aims to promote the integration of greater shares of renewables into power systems to support efforts to meet the continent’s fast-growing needs.

In this regard, renewable energy auctions are becoming an increasingly popular mechanism for the procurement of renewable electricity, notably due to their ability to reveal competitive prices and their flexible design which allows for their adaptation to country-specific contexts and objectives.

IRENA has served as a global reference for renewable energy auctions since 2012, when the agency produced its first study on auctions, Renewable Energy Auctions in Developing Countries. In 2015, IRENA released Renewable Energy Auctions: A Guide to Design which has advised policy makers on various approaches to auction design and Renewable Energy Auctions: Analysing 2016 which analysed the factor impacting the prices resulting from auctions.

In 2018, IRENA analysed auction design in African contexts in the report Renewable energy auctions: cases from sub-Saharan Africa. Further, in 2019 the Agency developed the report Renewable energy auctions: Status and trends beyond price, which focused on the latest global trends in auctions and how auctions can be designed to support objectives beyond procuring electricity at the lowest price – including to address broader socio-economic goals.

Building on this knowledge, and within the framework of the ACEC Initiative; IRENA, in collaboration with the East African Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE), and SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), has organised a two day capacity building workshop to share IRENA’s framework and insights regarding renewable energy auctions, and considerations, best practices, lessons learnt and specific case studies, with a focus on the Sub-Saharan Africa context. Participants discussed the design elements and the tradeoffs that need to be considered while making each choice. The workshop also provided participants the opportunity to participate in interactive discussions with the presenters.

Closed event (by invitation only)