• Wed. May 18th, 2022

Africa’s energy future will be clean

ByKarol Donimirski

May 2, 2022

Africa’s rapid economic growth poses a significant energy issue, which is compounded by growing expectations for more resilience and sustainability. One of the continent’s most pressing development concerns is finding a long-term solution to fulfill rising energy demands. Africa has a wealth of renewable energy sources, such as hydro, solar, wind, and others, and the time has come to guarantee that the proper energy mix is implemented. Decisions made today will have a long-term impact on the continent’s energy economy. Africa can embrace innovative, sustainable technology and lead the way in global action to define a sustainable energy future since it is endowed with significant renewable energy resources.

Africa has had tremendous economic growth and improved social standards during the last two decades. With most countries experiencing frequent blackouts and depending on expensive and harmful solutions, supply instability is an issue holding back economic development. Renewable energy options that are clean, indigenous, and inexpensive give the continent an opportunity to meet its economic, environmental, social, and climate goals.

Africa may cover roughly a quarter of its power requirements from indigenous and green renewable energy by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) research “Scaling Up Renewable Energy Deployment In Africa.” A total of 310 GW of modern renewables could provide half of the continent’s entire energy-producing capacity. This is a sevenfold increase over the present available capacity of 42 GW. A change of this magnitude in Africa’s energy industry would require an average yearly expenditure of $70 billion from now until 2030, resulting in yearly carbon dioxide cutting emissions of close to 310 megatonnes.

 

The World Bank is helping West Africa flourish.

 

The latest Regional Electricity Access and BEST (Battery-Energy Storage Technologies) Project in West Africa, funded by the World Bank Group with $465 million, will improve grid connections in fragile Sahelian areas, enhance the Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and strengthen the West Africa Power Pool’s (WAPP) network with battery-energy storage solutions infrastructure. This is a ground-breaking initiative that will pave the door for more renewable energy production, transmission, and investment in the region.

“West Africa is on the verge of establishing a regional power market with major development benefits and room for private sector participation,” says Charles Cormier, who works as the practice manager at the World Bank’s Energy Global Practice. “Increasing access to electricity for more families and businesses, boosting reliability, and utilizing the region’s significant renewable energy resources at all hours of the day and night will help speed up West Africa’s economic and social development.”

The World Bank has invested over $2.3 billion in infrastructure and policies in aid of WAPP, which is seen as critical to ensuring universal access to power in the 15 ECOWAS nations by 2030. This new project builds on previous efforts and will fund civil works in Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal to improve access.

Renewable energy gives Africa a chance to advance to a more sustainable and affluent future. Access to reliable, inexpensive, and sustainable energy resources, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a top issue. Around 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity, accounting for nearly half of the continent’s population of roughly 1.2 billion people. Renewable energy deployment that is accelerated produces jobs and helps people’s health.

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