How to improve electricity supply and power generation?April 14, 2021 16680 views 2933 comments 3 minutes reading time
Power shortages can be frustrating. Unreliable electricity supply not only affects day-to-day convenience, it also has tremendous implications on the education and health sectors, and is thus a significant impediment to social development.
The access to power divide is substantial in Africa. Only 45% of people in rural areas are connected to the grid, compared to 94% of those living in urban areas. It is worth noting that being connected to the grid does not guarantee electricity supply.
A look at how regions across the continent rank in electricity supply and power generation shows that Southern African countries have more people connected to the grid. South Africa is leading the pack, with an estimated 66% of its population connected. The lowest ranking country in that region is Malawi, which has a 42% connectivity rate. North and West African countries in the meantime have developed significant partnerships with key investors to increase capacity for renewable energy.
Despite East Africa lagging in power connectivity, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, believes that the region has enormous power generation potential.
Regions with a constant supply of power are more economically developed. According to the World Bank, access to energy is crucial to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals – and moving towards renewable sources will be crucial.
Africa is currently looking at options for more reliable and affordable sources of power. With technological advancements, many more investments are being channeled towards green energy.
Amar Inamdar, an investor in the sector, says that technology will solve Africa’s energy issues.
The implementation of technological advancement in the energy sector can only have an impact if a significant amount of investment is put in. The Africa Development Bank has stated that Africa needs an estimated 29 – 39 billion USD annually to unlock the potential of private sector investment in renewable energy. This would facilitate efficiency in energy supply, access, and penetration.
Kandeh Yumkella tells us why young Africans should be leading the energy revolution:
The journey to achieving a constant supply of power is arguably through the renewable transition. Natural resources, which are aplenty in Africa, should take center stage of the energy evolution of the continent. Statistics indicate that Africa is currently using about 8% of its potential hydropower.
Amar Inamdar argues that the future can only get better for African countries when it comes to power generation, efficiency, and costs.
As investors look into the numerous opportunities in Africa, governments in the region ought to ensure that there is a conducive environment for investment. This includes easing the cost of doing business to attract more public and private partnerships to ensure that Africa lights up!
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Image by GPA photo Archive via flickr