Although Africa has been lagging behind in many aspects, it has experienced rapid growth in the past few decades. A report released by World Economic Forum says that in 2019, six out of ten fast-growing economies in the world come from Africa. The report also says that Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria will always be among the top 10 between 2014-2050.
Africa’s likelihood to be a renewable energy leader
Electricity demand will rise by 2040 due to Africa’s growth. Today, more than half of the African population is not connected to the power grid. This means that if this population has to access electricity, there must be more power generation. Africa is well known to be rich in renewable resources such as wind, sun, and water, making the continent lead in renewable power.
Today, renewables are the only cheapest and fastest way to ensure people have access to electricity. However, the main challenge Africa is facing is the lack of funding and proper technology. To ensure that the continent’s population access power by 2040, universal electricity will need an additional $120 billion each year to invest in renewables. These monies cannot be raised through public financing channels alone; hence more financing is needed from other continents.
Africa needs to create a conducive and attractive environment for investors who want to invest in renewable power projects. RenewAfrica Initiative is a group that is working so hard to ensure that Africa overcomes this power challenge. The initiative was established in June 2019 by the RES4Africa Foundation and comprised of 27 Europe-based stakeholders, which includes Schneider Electric.
The group aims to establish public-private partnerships that will help to mobilize funding both public and private for the purpose of implementing sustainable renewable power projects. The group works with other partners like the European Union to support renewable energy projects, offer technical assistance to all of Africa’s governments, and provide capacity-building measures and financial de-risking.
RenewAfrica’s goal is to ensure Africa get access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power. This will improve the quality of life by creating more jobs and long-lasting economic development and enabling countries to meet their Sustainable Development Goals. IRENA has said that 310GW modern renewables could give half of the African’s population access to electricity. In the coming years, most countries across Africa would have been connected to the power grid, where millions of people would benefit. This will also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.https://thebrockvilleobserver.ca/