Africa has the potential of upping its generation of renewable energy from 5% to 22% by 2030 says Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He said as the demand for electricity is projected to grow by 2030, renewable energy would contribute towards the electrifying of households across the continent.
“After a decade of sustained growth, Africa is rising but needs secure and affordable energy to power its future growth” he said, adding that Africa’s electricity demand has increased by 80% over the past 15 years.
“What we know today is that the potential is immense. Africa has bountiful and buried renewable energy resources, including excellent solar across the continent, hydro in many countries, strong wind resources and powerful geothermal in East Africa’s rift valley.
He said renewable energy deployment in Africa can reach 310 GW by 2030.
Amin said more than 600 million people in Africa remained without electricity, representing the biggest unelectrified population in the world. He said it was expected to grow to 700 million by 2030, based on current trends.
“Renewable energy will be critical to lift these citizens from energy poverty. Access to electricity fulfils basic energy needs and can lead to a more accessible and reliable water supply, the extension of basic rural health care services and outreach of telecommunication services in rural areas. It is a means of stimulating economy wide development and a pathway to poverty eradication,” he added.