Vienna, Austria --- (METERING.COM) --- September 17, 2010 - The Africa-European Union Renewable Energy Cooperation Program has been launched and is expected to include a focus on smart grids, among other technologies.

The program, which is aimed at assisting Africa to accelerate the development of renewable energies, has also been awarded a planned contribution from the EU of €5 million to support its three-year start up phase.

The program was launched at a high level meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) in Vienna earlier this week by EU Commissioners for Development Andris Piebalgs and Energy, Gunther Oettinger together with the African Union.

The AEEP roadmap, which was also endorsed at the meeting, calls for the building of 10,000 MW of new hydropower facilities, at least 5,000 MW of wind power, 500 MW of solar energy and a tripling of the capacity of other renewables, and raising energy efficiency in Africa in all sectors.

In order to accelerate the development of renewables in Africa the program will focus on a number of areas, including establishing more detailed scientific knowledge on the resources and options in Africa and mobilizing additional resources for renewable energy investments from climate funds and other sources. Increasing public visibility and awareness of the scope and potential for renewable energy in Africa will also be a point of focus.

The program will focus on technologies that are market ready and near market ready, proven and commercially available, and that are relevant to African priorities, needs and market conditions, the program document states.

Smart grids are highlighted in enabling greater flexibility and increased use of renewable energy on the grid.

The Renewable Energy Cooperation Program is established for a 10 year period.