Africa: Private Capital Fuels Power Production – U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Washington, DC —This week the governments of the United States and Ethiopia are co-hosting a high-level meeting of African energy ministers, civil society and development organizations, researchers and some 30 U.S. companies in the petroleum and energy sector. The June 3-4 meeting in Addis Ababa will showcase African and U.S. energy policies and discuss best practices, including the acceleration of energy efficient technologies, as well as assessing progress on President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative. In his Washington DC office, before leaving for a stop in Algeria en route to Ethiopia, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz talked to AllAfrica’s Olubunmi Oloruntoba. Excerpts from the conversation:
The theme of the energy ministerial is ’Catalyzing Sustainable Energy Growth in Africa’. The ’Electrify Africa’ legislation sponsored by Republican Representative Ed Royce, with 117 bipartisan cosponsors, calls for a comprehensive U.S. policy to promote more access to electricity across Africa. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on 8 May and now goes to the Senate for consideration. What can you tell us about it?
The good news is a recognition both in the administration and the Congress that Africa needs a very strong focus on developing its electricity infrastructure – for delivery of what you might call base load power, but also to have distributed power, especially in more rural parts of Africa. I think we’re all on the same page that this is a real need.
It will be important, also, for the world, in terms of how we address things like global warming challenges, because this will enable a lot more clean energy in Africa, and it will enable economic development that is good for everybody. We see both need and an opportunity for U.S. and African business.