Energy & Technology

Power Shortfall in Africa: GEUF highlights the potential of renewables to address the issue

Power Shortfall in Africa

At the Global Energy Utilities Forum, experts discussed the need for electrification in Africa and the opportunities that renewable energy sources provide. With nearly 600 million people lacking access to electricity, many African countries face challenges in meeting the energy needs of their populations. One such country is Nigeria, which aims to generate 30 GW of electricity by 2030, with 30% from renewable sources. This would require an investment of $600 billion in power sector infrastructure, making it an attractive investment opportunity for the private sector.

The Rural Electrification Agency in Nigeria is identifying unelectrified communities in its database and partnering with the private sector to address the gap. International development partners such as the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank have already provided $550 million in funding for private sector financing, with developers receiving subsidies of up to 60% to electrify Nigeria. The agency is also designing programs for the private sector through grants to build mini grids and address the energy access gap.

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Regulators are needed to make rural areas attractive for private sector investment, with every regulator having a responsibility to look at the dynamics of each area within their region and come up with a homegrown solution that will attract investors. Kenya is also working to address the issue of energy access in rural areas, with a plan to achieve 100% electrification by 2035. Currently, around 72% of rural areas have access to electricity, and the government is encouraging private sector involvement in the development of mini grids.

Maged Mahmoud, Technical Director and Lead RE Advisor at the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, believes that renewable energy is a sustainable tool for economic growth in North African countries like Egypt and Morocco, which have a high percentage of accessibility to energy. Renewable energy can create job opportunities while preserving the climate and advancing different areas. With renewable energy becoming more affordable and accessible, Africa can address the issue of energy access while also contributing to global efforts to combat climate change.

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