Geothermal project area in Comoros. Photo UNDP Comoros / Aboubacar Taoufik

Comoros has been dependent on imported, expensive fossil fuels -- but this is now bound to change.

In its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, Comoros has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 84%. To reach this goal while driving the country’s socio-economic development, the government has developed the “Plan Comores Emergent Vision 2030”-- an ambitious roadmap to build a green and inclusive economy.

Developing geothermal energy is at the core of this strategy, and is a top priority for the government.

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source derived from heat generated from under the Earth’s surface, and sources are therefore often in volcanic areas.

Comoros has huge potential for geothermal, which could cover the energy baseload needs of the country in a reliable, non-interrupted and affordable way.

Figure : Simplified diagram on the production use of technologies. Source: ESMAP, 2012

 

Comoros has started this process by partnering with industry leaders such as KenGen electricity company in Kenya and the Government of New Zealand. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided support for the feasibility study and in mobilizing initial financing from the Global Environment Facility and supported the country to mobilize resources to the African Union through the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility.

But geothermal energy is highly complex, risky and costly. At this stage, much more financing is needed for Comoros to be able to integrate this renewable energy source in its mix.

This is why Comoros has started a collaboration with the Climate Investment Platform (CIP). The Climate Investment Platform is a partnership that supports countries by decluttering the climate finance space and facilitating investments in clean energy. 

The CIP is bringing in specialised expertise to assist the government in de-risking investments in geothermal, and ensuring current regulations and policies make such long-term and capital-intensive investments possible. It is also tapping into its network to look for potential investors, and advocates for Comoros’ geothermal financing needs on the international stage.

His Honorable Energy Minister Mr. Houmed M’Saidie in charge of Energy

 

This week, a high-level event on clean energy co-organised by the Climate Investment platform and the Danish and Ethiopian permanent missions to the UN ahead of the UN General Assembly has increased international visibility of Comoros’ ambitious geothermal energy plans by bringing together government representatives with key international organizations and financial institutions in the climate finance space. The government took this opportunity to call all climate actors to join forces to unleash Comoros’ geothermal potential.  

“Comoros is developing in a perspective to reach its NDCs and contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is now up to bi- and multilateral partners to join the Government's efforts so that together we can implement our NDCs and develop the ambitious and innovative clean energy projects by 2030,” said Comoros’ His Honorable Energy Minister Mr. Houmed M’Saidie.

At a high-level event on clean energy ahead of the UN Assembly General, CIP partners Achim Steiner (UNDP), Francesco La Camera (IRENA), Damilola Ogunbiyi (SEforALL) and Yannick Glemarec (GCF) called all climate actors to join efforts to accelerate the energy transition for a green recovery.

 

Unlocking Comoros’ geothermal energy potential will be a game-changer for the country, both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and increased energy access. With support from the CIP, the government is now accelerating its journey towards renewable energy.

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