Africa’s leap to clean energy seen needing policy change, investment

Reuters

Renewable energy is expected to account for less than 10% of Africa’s electricity generation by 2030, showing massive investment is needed to unlock the continent’s wind and solar power potential, researchers say.

Drastic policy change and investment will also be needed if the notion of Africa “leapfrogging to renewables” is plausible, according to the authors of a new study by the University of Oxford, published in the academic journal Nature Energy.

Using machine-learning techniques to analyse more than 2,500 power plants in 54 African countries, the article showed non-hydro renewable energy, such as geothermal, solar and wind energy, make up just 3% of Africa’s power supply.

“This study is a warning to the world that Africa needs serious investment if it isn’t going to shipwreck global efforts to tackle climate change,” said Mohamed Adow, director of Nairobi-based Power Shift Africa, a climate think-tank that was not involved in the research.

“(But) these predictions don’t need to come true, Africa has an abundance of wind and solar resources, but it needs climate finance from richer countries to help it to harness this and get off the fossil fuel track,” Adow said in emailed comments.

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