Kabul – Afghanistan – The Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union and the Ministry of Energy and Water held the first Afghan Renewable Energy Summit and Exhibition with an “Access to Finance” theme. The Kabul event took place June 13 - 14, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the Embassy of India.
A large number of participants from the renewable energy sector (Solar, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal, and Hydro), financial institutions and international donors attended. They engaged with industry leaders on how to grow the sector.
The Summit promoted renewable energy through improved access to finance and conducted targeted discussions linking enterprises with financial institutions in preparation for the Renewable Energy Summit and Exhibition in Delhi at the end of July. The Summit helped create awareness of how renewable energy can benefit businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and individual investors. Six workshops also focused on investment opportunities in Afghanistan’s renewable energy sector, regulatory mechanisms, and access to finance for businesses investing in the sector.
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan P. Michael McKinley said, “This summit is an opportunity to establish links between Afghan and international partners for joint ventures and technology transfers in the renewable energy sector.” He added, “Renewable energy technologies are powerful tools for alleviating poverty, expanding rural development, and stimulating private sector growth while promoting sustainability.”
H.E. Ali Ahmad Usmani, Minister of Energy and Water said, “At present only 28% of the Afghan population has access to electricity. This event will help increase investment in the renewable energy sector and bring greater access to electricity to more people in rural areas of Afghanistan.”