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The Understanding Series

To access the Understanding Series in French please visit: cldp.doc.gov/comprendre 

Understanding Series w/ES


Since 2013, the Power Africa initiative has sought to marshal technical, legal and financial resources to support the goal of doubling access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through a substantial network of public and private sector partners, Power Africa is working alongside dozens of African governments to facilitate the development of privately financed and operated power projects on a scale that will meet the continent’s power deficit.

Power Africa has developed a series of handbooks to establish a common understanding of best practices around successful power project development. The Understanding series now includes a total of four handbooks, with 55,000 copies in print and tens of thousands more copies downloaded online.

Understanding the Understanding series

The Understanding series was developed as part of the Power Africa Initiative and the development of these handbooks is funded by USAID.  The handbooks in the Understanding series are intended to serve as practical resources for decision-makers on the policy and strategy behind the development, financing, and procurement of power projects. CLDP facilitates the drafting and publishing of these books with its key partner, the African Legal Support Facility (ALFS). Each of the handbooks have been developed using the Book Sprint method which allows a diverse group of contributors from African governments, multilateral institutions, development banks, private developers, procurement consultants and leading international law firms, all whom contribute their time on a pro-bono basis, to complete the handbooks in a quick and efficient manner. Each of the handbooks has been published under the Creative Commons License.

Understanding Energy Storage


ES Front Cover

Energy Storage technology plays a critical role in enabling energy transition and increasing energy access. The Understanding Energy Storage handbook is intended to serve as a resource for decision-makers in the power space across sub-Saharan Africa to demystify energy storage technology and regulations.

Please see a link to the Understanding Energy Storage book here: English, Francais (coming soon). 

Understanding Power Transmission Financing

UTx Cover

The critical nature of transmission infrastructure to the overall function of an energy market cannot be overstated. As generation expands, transmission is needed to bring electricity to the demand centers.

Please see a link to the Understanding Power Transmission Financing handbook here: English, Francais

Please explore additional resources on business models to increase private participation in the transmission sector available in English, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer and Laotian.

Understanding Power Purchase Agreements

PPA Cover

The power purchase agreement (PPA) is the central contract for any independent power generation project, especially in emerging markets. This handbook explains the context for the PPA and sets out the key considerations for drafting and negotiating the PPA.

Please explore the Understanding Power Purchase Agreements resources here (including videos and presentations). 

Please see a link to the Understanding Power Purchase Agreements handbook here: English, Francais, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer, and Laotian



Understanding Power Project Procurement

PPP Cover

Procuring power projects is complex and there are a variety of approaches the public party can use to establish and maintain power projects. This handbook provides an overview of the mechanisms and strategy behind successful Power Project Procurement, including the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives.

Please see a link to the Understanding Power Project Procurement handbook here: English, Francais,  አማርኛ.





Understanding Power Project Financing

PPF Cover

Financing is a key aspect of developing any power project. This handbook provides an overview of the different financing alternatives for power transactions and the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Please see a link to the Understanding Power Project Financing handbook here: English, Francais,  አማርኛ.









Understanding Natural Gas and LNG Options

(developed by the US Department of Energy)


LNG Cover

Natural gas development and uses are important components of a clean energy future and could enable public entities and private companies to generate more power from abundant indigenous resources or from imported gas (in the form of LNG or pipeline gas) – building deeper and broader gas markets for the benefit of all. This handbook focuses on the factors that exporting or importing nations on the continent need to consider when making decisions about natural gas development in general and more specifically the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects related to the export and import of LNG.

Please see a link to the Understanding Power Project Procurement handbook here: English, Francais




If you have any questions about the Understanding series please contact CLDP here.

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