ARE Scale-up: Deploying Renewable Energy in Africa

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ARE Scale-up pour le déploiement des énergies renouvelables en Afrique
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ARE Scale-up works to develop energy supply in Africa that is secure, sustainable, and accessible. It seeks greater involvement by the private sector in this process of change, and rounds out large-scale international initiatives such as the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All). 

ARE Scale-up has two objectives: 

  • Increase access to energy for people far from electricity grids
  • Deploy renewable energies connected to the grids.

Through ARE Scale-up, AFD along with the European Commission are helping to broaden access to energy for Africans and are mobilizing private players to meet African energy challenges.

A facility co-financed by the European Union and Agence Française de Développement Group

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What does ARE Scale-up offer?

  • Technical assistance

ARE Scale-up has a fund dedicated to technical assistance. This fund is managed by AFD and helps create the conditions required for the development of renewable energy in Africa.
Its goal is to strengthen the regulatory and institutional environment in African countries. The fund also lays the groundwork for financing public and private renewable energy projects: these may involve producing grid-connected renewable energies or developing access through mini-grids.

  • A guarantee fund

ARE Scale-up also includes a guarantee fund, managed by Proparco, AFD Group’s subsidiary in charge of the private sector. This fund supports investments in companies specialized in developing off-grid electrification through mini-grids and small-scale decentralized energy production.

Projects and studies

The technical assistance launched in 2017 and managed by AFD has made it possible to fund 38 studies and technical assistance activities for a total cost of €10.8 million. Some 15 of those studies and technical assistance programs have now been completed, and the remainder are still underway. In more than 20 African countries, this groundwork promotes investment in renewable energy and helps guide regulatory frameworks to adapt, wherever necessary. 

The completed studies and technical assistance actions have in turn helped mobilize €1 billion in financing for renewable energy projects, representing a capacity of approximately 550 MW.

The projects

ARE Scale-up support helped the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) to conduct studies that determine technical specifications, and to prepare tender documents for the various components of the project. This support was supplemented by the development and implementation of a geographic information system by STEG and an integrated software package for customer management.

  • Mauritania, RIMDIR project - Reinforcing access to electricity in rural areas through mini-grids 

ARE Scale-up support to the RIMDIR project enabled in-depth studies to confirm the relevance and scope of the technical solution chosen for each town under consideration. The financial feasibility of each project was also reviewed and confirmed, with special attention paid to the poorest households.

ARE Scale-up support made it possible to conduct a feasibility study on an initial project of the country’s Solar Plan: the construction of four photovoltaic plants connected to the national grid.

ARE Scale-up support helped the local public electricity company, EDM, in developing the 2020-2025 national renewable energy strategy. Its guidelines are enabling EDM to respond to the rapid growth in demand and to develop operational plans to develop renewable energy resources in Mozambique.


The challenges of achieving universal electrification: This study analyzes the success factors and obstacles of programs to deploy electricity-access solutions in six African countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal) and Cambodia. It focuses on institutional and regulatory strategies; pricing policies; technical and economic aspects; and environmental, societal, and governance issues.

This study provides an overview of national off-grid electrification strategies, focusing mainly on two types of schemes: mini-grids and individual solar kits. It also makes recommendations based on the far-reaching goal of universal access to electricity by 2030, as set out by Sustainable Development Goal 7, which seeks to guarantee access to reliable, sustainable, modern, and affordable energy services for all.

News & resources



Specialized Publications
Guides and Practical Tools

The Challenges of Achieving Universal Electrification

The challenges of achieving universal electrification
Oct 2019
Institutional document

Access to electricity in Sahel doubled by 2022 - Synthesis of the conference

Access to electricity in Sahel doubled by 2022 - Synthesis of the conference
Nov 2019
All Ressources