Africa in the last decade has experienced the kind of economic growth that G7 nations like France and Germany can only dream about.
However, to fully realize its growth potential, Africa needs energy, much more of it – and the infrastructure to ensure that it is delivered affordably, safely and consistently to households as well as industries.
At the moment, Africa’s infrastructure is not fit-for-purpose. The amount of power generated also falls woefully short of what is needed. A major crisis continues within our global system; it’s an energy poverty crisis.
But that may all be about to change only if Africa will have to undergo a “climate smart” energy revolution. This is the view of three Africa business moguls: Tony Elumelu, Aliko Dangote and Carlos Lopes.
According to them, Africa has the potential to pioneer the next investment frontier in the world if Africa’s energy transformation policies are right.
“African countries will need to build climate-resilient infrastructure and tap into the continent’s abundant renewable-energy resources.”
In a combined publication, they believe tapping into Africa’s renewable energy potential will broaden access to energy, create green jobs, reduce environmental pollution, and enhance energy security by diversifying sources.
“Africa’s energy sources are many and diverse. From natural gas to coal, renewables or even diesel, there are more than sufficient local sources to meet the continent’s needs.”
Africa has a chance to bring hundreds of millions of people without electricity into the modern economy, but only if Policymakers take a few key steps to help transform Africa’s energy sector and boost long-term economic growth.
” For starters, making it easier, safer, and more financially attractive for private investors to enter power markets would boost competition, thereby spurring innovation and lowering costs.” Also, African countries should seek opportunities to share infrastructure and create cross-border power pools.
“The continent’s clean-energy assets, including almost nine terawatts of solar capacity, more than 350 gigawatts of hydropower capacity, and more than 100 GW of wind-power potential is more than enough to meet the continent’s future demand.”
“At the same time, renewable-energy sources are becoming less expensive, making them increasingly competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives.”
“For example, the price of utility-scale photovoltaic solar energy in Africa fell by 50% between 2010 and 2014, and continues to decrease today. South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme has also seen an overall decline in bid prices and oversubscription rates.”