Text: S.2152 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-121 (02/08/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 121]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



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                      ELECTRIFY AFRICA ACT OF 2015

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Public Law 114-121
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To establish a comprehensive United States Government policy to 
 encourage the efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an 
appropriate mix of power solutions, including renewable energy, for more 
   broadly distributed electricity access in order to support poverty 
reduction, promote development outcomes, and drive economic growth, and 
        for other purposes. <<NOTE: Feb. 8, 2016 -  [S. 2152]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Electrify Africa 
Act of 2015. 22 USC 2293 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Electrify Africa Act of 2015''.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to encourage the efforts of countries in 
sub-Saharan Africa to improve access to affordable and reliable 
electricity in Africa in order to unlock the potential for inclusive 
economic growth, job creation, food security, improved health, 
education, and environmental outcomes, and poverty reduction.
SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to partner, consult, and 
coordinate with the governments of sub-Saharan African countries, 
international financial institutions, and African regional economic 
communities, cooperatives, and the private sector, in a concerted effort 
to--
            (1) promote first-time access to power and power services 
        for at least 50,000,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 in 
        both urban and rural areas;
            (2) encourage the installation of at least 20,000 additional 
        megawatts of electrical power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 
        using a broad mix of energy options to help reduce poverty, 
        promote sustainable development, and drive inclusive economic 
        growth;
            (3) promote non-discriminatory reliable, affordable, and 
        sustainable power in urban areas (including small urban areas) 
        to promote economic growth and job creation;
            (4) promote policies to facilitate public-private 
        partnerships to provide non-discriminatory reliable, 
        sustainable, and affordable electrical service to rural and 
        underserved populations;
            (5) encourage the necessary in-country reforms, including 
        facilitating public-private partnerships specifically to support 
        electricity access projects to make such expansion of power 
        access possible;
            (6) promote reforms of power production, delivery, and 
        pricing, as well as regulatory reforms and transparency, to

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        support long-term, market-based power generation and 
        distribution;
            (7) promote policies to displace kerosene lighting with 
        other technologies;
            (8) promote an all-of-the-above energy development strategy 
        for sub-Saharan Africa that includes the use of oil, natural 
        gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal power, and 
        other sources of energy; and
            (9) promote and increase the use of private financing and 
        seek ways to remove barriers to private financing and assistance 
        for projects, including through charitable organizations.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: President.>>  DEVELOPMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE, 
                    MULTIYEAR STRATEGY.

    (a) Strategy Required.--
            (1) In general.--The President shall establish a 
        comprehensive, integrated, multiyear strategy to encourage the 
        efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to implement national 
        power strategies and develop an appropriate mix of power 
        solutions to provide access to sufficient reliable, affordable, 
        and sustainable power in order to reduce poverty and drive 
        economic growth and job creation consistent with the policy 
        stated in section 3.
            (2) Flexibility and responsiveness.--The President shall 
        ensure that the strategy required under paragraph (1) maintains 
        sufficient flexibility for and remains responsive to concerns 
        and interests of affected local communities and technological 
        innovation in the power sector.

    (b) Report Required.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the Committee on 
Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 
the House of Representatives a report that contains the strategy 
required under subsection (a) and includes a discussion of the following 
elements:
            (1) The objectives of the strategy and the criteria for 
        determining the success of the strategy.
            (2) A general description of efforts in sub-Saharan Africa 
        to--
                    (A) increase power production;
                    (B) strengthen electrical transmission and 
                distribution infrastructure;
                    (C) provide for regulatory reform and transparent 
                and accountable governance and oversight;
                    (D) improve the reliability of power;
                    (E) maintain the affordability of power;
                    (F) maximize the financial sustainability of the 
                power sector; and
                    (G) improve non-discriminatory access to power that 
                is done in consultation with affected communities.
            (3) A description of plans to support efforts of countries 
        in sub-Saharan Africa to increase access to power in urban and 
        rural areas, including a description of plans designed to 
        address commercial, industrial, and residential needs.
            (4) A description of plans to support efforts to reduce 
        waste and corruption, ensure local community consultation, and 
        improve existing power generation through the use of a broad

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        power mix, including fossil fuel and renewable energy, 
        distributed generation models, energy efficiency, and other 
        technological innovations, as appropriate.
            (5) <<NOTE: Analysis. Recommenda- tions.>>  An analysis of 
        existing mechanisms for ensuring, and recommendations to 
        promote--
                    (A) commercial cost recovery;
                    (B) commercialization of electric service through 
                distribution service providers, including cooperatives, 
                to consumers;
                    (C) improvements in revenue cycle management, power 
                pricing, and fees assessed for service contracts and 
                connections;
                    (D) reductions in technical losses and commercial 
                losses; and
                    (E) non-discriminatory access to power, including 
                recommendations on the creation of new service provider 
                models that mobilize community participation in the 
                provision of power services.
            (6) A description of the reforms being undertaken or planned 
        by countries in sub-Saharan Africa to ensure the long-term 
        economic viability of power projects and to increase access to 
        power, including--
                    (A) reforms designed to allow third parties to 
                connect power generation to the grid;
                    (B) policies to ensure there is a viable and 
                independent utility regulator;
                    (C) strategies to ensure utilities become or remain 
                creditworthy;
                    (D) regulations that permit the participation of 
                independent power producers and private-public 
                partnerships;
                    (E) policies that encourage private sector and 
                cooperative investment in power generation;
                    (F) policies that ensure compensation for power 
                provided to the electrical grid by on-site producers;
                    (G) policies to unbundle power services;
                    (H) regulations to eliminate conflicts of interest 
                in the utility sector;
                    (I) efforts to develop standardized power purchase 
                agreements and other contracts to streamline project 
                development;
                    (J) efforts to negotiate and monitor compliance with 
                power purchase agreements and other contracts entered 
                into with the private sector; and
                    (K) policies that promote local community 
                consultation with respect to the development of power 
                generation and transmission projects.
            (7) A description of plans to ensure meaningful local 
        consultation, as appropriate, in the planning, long-term 
        maintenance, and management of investments designed to increase 
        access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.
            (8) A description of the mechanisms to be established for--
                    (A) selection of partner countries for focused 
                engagement on the power sector;
                    (B) monitoring and evaluating increased access to, 
                and reliability and affordability of, power in sub-
                Saharan Africa;

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                    (C) maximizing the financial sustainability of power 
                generation, transmission, and distribution in sub-
                Saharan Africa;
                    (D) establishing metrics to demonstrate progress on 
                meeting goals relating to access to power, power 
                generation, and distribution in sub-Saharan Africa; and
                    (E) terminating unsuccessful programs.
            (9) A description of how the President intends to promote 
        trade in electrical equipment with countries in sub-Saharan 
        Africa, including a description of how the government of each 
        country receiving assistance pursuant to the strategy--
                    (A) plans to lower or eliminate import tariffs or 
                other taxes for energy and other power production and 
                distribution technologies destined for sub-Saharan 
                Africa, including equipment used to provide energy 
                access, including solar lanterns, solar home systems, 
                and micro and mini grids; and
                    (B) plans to protect the intellectual property of 
                companies designing and manufacturing products that can 
                be used to provide energy access in sub-Saharan Africa.
            (10) A description of how the President intends to encourage 
        the growth of distributed renewable energy markets in sub-
        Saharan Africa, including off-grid lighting and power, that 
        includes--
                    (A) an analysis of the state of distributed 
                renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa;
                    (B) a description of market barriers to the 
                deployment of distributed renewable energy technologies 
                both on- and off-grid in sub-Saharan Africa;
                    (C) an analysis of the efficacy of efforts by the 
                Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the United 
                States Agency for International Development to 
                facilitate the financing of the importation, 
                distribution, sale, leasing, or marketing of distributed 
                renewable energy technologies; and
                    (D) a description of how bolstering distributed 
                renewable energy can enhance the overall effort to 
                increase power access in sub-Saharan Africa.
            (11) A description of plans to ensure that small and medium 
        enterprises based in sub-Saharan Africa can fairly compete for 
        energy development and energy access opportunities associated 
        with this Act.
            (12) A description of how United States investments to 
        increase access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa may reduce the 
        need for foreign aid and development assistance in the future.
            (13) A description of policies or regulations, both 
        domestically and internationally, that create barriers to 
        private financing of the projects undertaken in this Act.
            (14) A description of the specific national security 
        benefits to the United States that will be derived from 
        increased energy access in sub-Saharan Africa.

    (c) Interagency Working Group.--
            (1) In general.--The President may, as appropriate, 
        establish an Interagency Working Group to coordinate the 
        activities

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        of relevant United States Government departments and agencies 
        involved in carrying out the strategy required under this 
        section.
            (2) Functions.--The Interagency Working Group may, among 
        other things--
                    (A) seek to coordinate the activities of the United 
                States Government departments and agencies involved in 
                implementing the strategy required under this section;
                    (B) ensure efficient and effective coordination 
                between participating departments and agencies; and
                    (C) facilitate information sharing, and coordinate 
                partnerships between the United States Government, the 
                private sector, and other development partners to 
                achieve the goals of the strategy.
SEC. 5. PRIORITIZATION OF EFFORTS AND ASSISTANCE FOR POWER 
                    PROJECTS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA BY KEY UNITED 
                    STATES INSTITUTIONS.

    (a) In General.--In pursuing the policy goals described in section 
3, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
Development, the Director of the Trade and Development Agency, the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Chief Executive Officer 
and Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation should, 
as appropriate, prioritize and expedite institutional efforts and 
assistance to facilitate the involvement of such institutions in power 
projects and markets, both on- and off-grid, in sub-Saharan Africa and 
partner with other investors and local institutions in sub-Saharan 
Africa, including private sector actors, to specifically increase access 
to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in sub-Saharan Africa, 
including through--
            (1) maximizing the number of people with new access to power 
        and power services;
            (2) improving and expanding the generation, transmission and 
        distribution of power;
            (3) providing reliable power to people and businesses in 
        urban and rural communities;
            (4) addressing the energy needs of marginalized people 
        living in areas where there is little or no access to a power 
        grid and developing plans to systematically increase coverage in 
        rural areas;
            (5) reducing transmission and distribution losses and 
        improving end-use efficiency and demand-side management;
            (6) reducing energy-related impediments to business 
        productivity and investment; and
            (7) building the capacity of countries in sub-Saharan Africa 
        to monitor and appropriately and transparently regulate the 
        power sector and encourage private investment in power 
        production and distribution.

    (b) Effectiveness Measurement.--In prioritizing and expediting 
institutional efforts and assistance pursuant to this section, as 
appropriate, such institutions shall use clear, accountable, and metric-
based targets to measure the effectiveness of such guarantees and 
assistance in achieving the goals described in section 3.
    (c) Promotion of Use of Private Financing and Assistance.--In 
carrying out policies under this section, such institutions shall 
promote the use of private financing and assistance and seek

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ways to remove barriers to private financing for projects and programs 
under this Act, including through charitable organizations.
    (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section may be construed 
to authorize modifying or limiting the portfolio of the institutions 
covered by subsection (a) in other developing regions.
SEC. 6. LEVERAGING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT.

    In implementing the strategy described in section 4, the President 
should direct the United States representatives to appropriate 
international bodies to use the influence of the United States, 
consistent with the broad development goals of the United States, to 
advocate that each such body--
            (1) commit to significantly increase efforts to promote 
        investment in well-designed power sector and electrification 
        projects in sub-Saharan Africa that increase energy access, in 
        partnership with the private sector and consistent with the host 
        countries' absorptive capacity;
            (2) address energy needs of individuals and communities 
        where access to an electricity grid is impractical or cost-
        prohibitive;
            (3) enhance coordination with the private sector in sub-
        Saharan Africa to increase access to electricity;
            (4) provide technical assistance to the regulatory 
        authorities of sub-Saharan African governments to remove 
        unnecessary barriers to investment in otherwise commercially 
        viable projects; and
            (5) utilize clear, accountable, and metric-based targets to 
        measure the effectiveness of such projects.
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: President.>>  PROGRESS REPORT.

    (a) In General.--Not later than three years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on progress made toward 
achieving the strategy described in section 4 that includes the 
following:
            (1) A report on United States programs supporting 
        implementation of policy and legislative changes leading to 
        increased power generation and access in sub-Saharan Africa, 
        including a description of the number, type, and status of 
        policy, regulatory, and legislative changes initiated or 
        implemented as a result of programs funded or supported by the 
        United States in countries in sub-Saharan Africa to support 
        increased power generation and access after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act.
            (2) A description of power projects receiving United States 
        Government support and how such projects, including off-grid 
        efforts, are intended to achieve the strategy described in 
        section 4.
            (3) For each project described in paragraph (2)--
                    (A) a description of how the project fits into, or 
                encourages modifications of, the national energy plan of 
                the country in which the project will be carried out, 
                including encouraging regulatory reform in that county;
                    (B) <<NOTE: Cost estimate.>>  an estimate of the 
                total cost of the project to the consumer, the country 
                in which the project will be carried out, and other 
                investors;

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                    (C) the amount of financing provided or guaranteed 
                by the United States Government for the project;
                    (D) <<NOTE: Project estimate.>>  an estimate of 
                United States Government resources for the project, 
                itemized by funding source, including from the Overseas 
                Private Investment Corporation, the United States Agency 
                for International Development, the Department of the 
                Treasury, and other appropriate United States Government 
                departments and agencies;
                    (E) <<NOTE: Estimate.>>  an estimate of the number 
                and regional locations of individuals, communities, 
                businesses, schools, and health facilities that have 
                gained power connections as a result of the project, 
                with a description of how the reliability, 
                affordability, and sustainability of power has been 
                improved as of the date of the report;
                    (F) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  an assessment of the 
                increase in the number of people and businesses with 
                access to power, and in the operating electrical power 
                capacity in megawatts as a result of the project between 
                the date of the enactment of this Act and the date of 
                the report;
                    (G) a description of efforts to gain meaningful 
                local consultation for projects associated with this Act 
                and any significant estimated noneconomic effects of the 
                efforts carried out pursuant to this Act; and
                    (H) a description of the participation by small and 
                medium enterprises based in sub-Saharan Africa on 
                projects associated with this Act.

    Approved February 8, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2152:
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SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-176 (Comm. on Foreign Relations).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 161 (2015):
                                    Dec. 18, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.
                                                        Vol. 162 (2016):
                                    Feb. 1, considered and passed House.

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