Ministry of Energy and Water, Tuesday, September 10, 9:30 a.m.
Good morning Minister Borges, representatives of Angola’s ministries and public companies, and ladies and gentlemen.
I am pleased to welcome you to this gathering of Angolan government leaders and institutions to share the experience of David Arfin, an expert on renewable energy finance within the growing U.S. renewable energy sector. Renewable energy is vital to our nation’s energy security. As noted in President Trump’s National Security Strategy, the United States is focused on providing access to domestic sources of clean, affordable, and reliable energy. By diversifying our energy sources – which include fossil fuels such as natural gas and petroleum, but also nuclear energy, and renewable energy such as solar and wind – the United States encourages prosperity and builds a foundation for future economic growth.
The United States has seen dramatic growth in solar energy by focusing on policies to increase access and lower costs. The United States is now the second-largest solar market in the world. Since 2008, U.S. solar energy generation has jumped from 2 million megawatt hours (MWh) to 96 million MWh in 2018. Total installed solar energy capacity rose from less than one gigawatt (GW) in 2008 to over 67 gigawatts in 2019 – which is the equivalent of over 67 large natural gas or coal-fired power plants. The United States is also forecast to more than double installed solar energy capacity over the next five years. By 2024, the United States is forecast to install more than 15 GW of solar energy per year.
The growth of the U.S. solar energy market has been driven by federal and state policies and declining costs – including new finance models that lead to lower costs. Tax incentives at the federal and state level have spurred solar energy projects. New financial models – including the finance models David Arfin helped create – allowed more consumers access to solar energy. And as more solar energy projects come online, increased project efficiencies drive costs lower.
As Angola considers policies to encourage the use of renewable energy, we applaud Minister Borges and his team for the long collaboration Embassy Luanda has enjoyed on energy with the Ministry of Energy and Water. The United States continues to be an important energy partner to Angola. We have worked together through initiatives including our Strategic Energy Dialogue and Power Africa, which saw our U.S. Transaction Advisor work closely with the Ministry to develop programs to increase energy access for all Angolans. Our cooperation continues with Power Africa 2.0 to help Angola’s utilities meet power generation, transmission, and distribution targets set in the Ministry’s 2022 action plan.
U.S. energy companies are also very engaged in Angola and companies and are committed to overcoming challenges and investing in Angola over the long term. Our companies will continue to play a pivotal role in Angola’s economy and future growth. To do so, the right conditions must exist. In the case of U.S. solar energy, our solar companies have thrived with predicable and transparent business practices, a stable regulatory framework, and access to finance. These conditions have allowed U.S. solar energy companies to identify opportunities, plan, invest and grow. Angolan companies and entrepreneurs – the core of Angola’s economic future – can also prosper in such an environment.
Today, we’ll discuss ways to promote more development, trade and investment between the U.S. and Angola in the solar energy field. Thanks again to the Ministry for hosting this important event and for working together to deepen the energy ties between the United States and Angola.