Benefits of renewable power for Africa
Carbon dioxide emissions in the sub-Saharan African power sector are insignificant to that of the developed world. All four of the sub-Saharan African power pools show negative reserve capacities, having combined generation capacities below that of their peak demand. Electrification of the continent currently sits at a dismal 40%, and Sub-Saharan Africa even more dismal, at 30%. With such extreme power needs present across the continent, the reduction of CO2 emissions as a national agenda would, therefore, not logically represent a significant driver for renewable energy development within the majority of African countries. However, although CO2 emission reduction, as a driver for the market, does not carry the same punch as it does in more developed countries, that is not to say that the renewable energy sector does not offer key benefits to Africa.
So… what are the benefits?
- CO2 reduction programmes are changing the shape of the energy sector in most developed, as well as many developing countries.
- Although Africa does suffer from extreme poverty in many regions, the allocation of government funding towards capital intensive renewable power would be wise - based on a number of considerations that extend beyond only emission reduction.
- Central and East Africa have vast hydro power resources, and West and North Africa include some of the most productive oil and gas countries in the world.
Africa mega trends: Renewable power
By R Bruton, Frost & Sullivan
Electricity+Control, October 2011 (pgs 48 – 50)