The ongoing energy drought in Africa and its increasing need for energy has brought up many questions from renewable energy experts and discussions on how to move forward. According to a recent article in IdeasLab, 2 out of 3 - or almost 600 million - people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity. Isn't that unbelievable?
In order to aid in the continent's growth and development, this has to change.
The renewable energy movement in Africa,specifically in Rwanda, has been making progress. One of the biggest steps being taken is the current KivuWatt Biogas Project, which will bring electricity to many of the 78% of the Rwandan population who currently live without it.
Lake Kivu, one of the African great lakes located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is being tapped as a source of renewable energy due to the methane levels in the water. Along with this project, there are other areas of the continent that are being viewed as renewable energy sources.
According to a recent workshop held by OFIC, sub-Saharan countries, due to their location within the tropics, offer the best potential for solar energy and biomass.Eighty-five percent of the installed wind capacity in Africa and Middle East is in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, making it another prime resource for renewable energy.
The economic impact of continuing investments in the African energy sector can be substantial. As outlined in the recent "AfricaEnergy Outlook" report published by the International Energy Agency, the sub-Saharan economy could see a 30% boost by 2040 by investing an additional US$450 billion in the power sector. This would reduce power outages by half" and provide universal electricity access in urban areas.
Beyond the current projects and efforts being made, in order to provide energy and electricity for the millions in Africa living without it, we need to fund, implement and expand upon multiple solutions. Creating a safe financial environment for private investors to contribute will be a large part of moving forward with various renewable energy efforts in Africa. The KivuWatt project is the first of many to come to fruition, and, once it is a success, will pave the way for many more.
What are your thoughts on Africa’s energy poverty? How do you believe the KivuWatt Biogas project will affect the rest of the continent? And what's the role of insurance/risk management? Join the conversation. Let us know your opinions and discuss with others who are passionate about this subject on our SRCS LinkedIn group or on SRCS Twitter.
Category: Sustainable energy