As the continent experiences continuous economic development and transformation, its population is quickly increasing and its economy diversifying.
It is no news that this expansion needs to be supported by massive investments in energy in order to be sustained. Africa has the capability and the ability to use renewable resources to power the bulk of its own future growth.
Energy is a huge global market and it is creating a lot of job opportunities for people all over the world. Renewable “fuels” generate by solar, wind, water, and the earth are virtually unlimited. The continent’s current target of 1,252 MW from geothermal energy by 2030 is not ambitious enough. This figure could easily be five to six times higher by then. East Africa has a geothermal potential of 15,000MW and Kenya alone boasts 10,000MW. Given the right circumstances, East Africa could easily generate five to six times more energy than it currently does.
Renewables clearly outperform the unpredictable costs of fuels used to power coal, oil, gas, and nuclear reactors. There seem to be no significant economic or technological limitations to a complete transition to renewable energy. All we need is governmental will and international collaboration to make it a reality. Sadly, despite what one usually sees on the news, governments throughout the world keep offering polluting fossil fuels greater subsidies and tax benefits than renewables. These policies threaten the critical transition required to reach our 100% renewable energy future. Large expenditures in renewable energy, particularly geothermal energy, would remove the need for coal.
With significant renewable sources of energy throughout the continent, Africa should strive to outperform fossil fuels.
Instead of going over the same agenda, governments should invest in cleaner, more accessible, and easily obtainable renewable energy solutions. The mix of solar, wind and geothermal energy across the continent would really be suitable for meeting Africa’s increasing energy demands in the future years. Renewable technologies now have the potential to electrify Africa’s rural and remote locations.
When compared to the rest of the globe, Africa’s solar resources are well above average. However, natural resources alone are not sufficient. Worldwide collaboration is required to overcome the constraints that Africa suffers in receiving climate funding, which is largely in the form of loans rather than grants. Africa can conserve its water supplies and secure its people’s livelihoods by investing in renewables. In addition, the continent can escape the destructive impacts of air pollution and the climate problem.
As a result, governments must put in place the necessary regulatory measures to ensure that all Africans have access to inexpensive, clean, and safe power.
African nations must implement policies that encourage investment in renewable energy while also mobilising international assistance for a brighter future based on easily available renewable resources.
Africa has the potential to lead the world in a kind and constructive energy transition for people and the globe. What are we waiting for?