Fundamental changes in investment, financing, technology, markets and policy are needed for renewable energy generation in Africa, the World Energy Council Africa regional manager Dr Latsoucabe Fall said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Power and Electricity World Africa conference in Johannesburg, Fall stated that $356-billion in energy investment was needed between 2010 and 2030 in Africa for the demand to be met. To meet this target, regional and sub-regional integration and cooperation was crucial.
“Developing, enlarging and freeing up markets at national, regional and global levels is fundamental to creating momentum for the African energy sector, as well as solving supply and demand challenges,” he noted.
About 60% of Africa’s population do not have access to energy, despite considerable power generation possibilities, such as gas, wind, solar and geothermal.
Fall believed that the main challenges posed to the energy sector included a low level of access to energy services, a low level of consumption, overdependence on biomass and weak infrastructure development, as well as a lack of funding and skills.
To tackle these challenges, he identified harnessing Africa’s significant energy resources, developing clean energy systems and securing a diversified energy mix as three priorities.
More priorities included realising the potential of energy efficiency and conservation, establishing secure energy policies and stable regulation and sustainable financing, as well as expanding integration and cooperation with other countries.
“In Africa, we must also support human and institutional capabilities development and pay special attention to rural development. Strong partnerships and coordination will be key to the successful growth of Africa’s energy sector,” he concluded.