Why we believe in renewable energy for Africa ?
25 October 2016
Each year, the demographic and economic pressure increases the absolute necessity to solve the African energy conundrum. In addition to the social tensions arising from the fact that more than 600 million people have no access to electricity, Africa loses at least two points of growth each year because of power shortages… The industrial transformation of a whole continent is at stake.
Equally worrying, the current energy mix depends on fossil fuels for half the production, a figure that is unacceptable for a continent that has a huge production potential from renewable sources (about 26.3 million kWh).
To meet the economic, social and environmental challenges currently facing Africa, it is urgent to develop an innovative model based on technological progress, renewable energy and private capital.
We believe this situation is not inevitable. On the contrary, we believe this is a tremendous opportunity.
Because it is not held back by the weight of pre-existing production units, just like the spread of mobile technology transformed the continent, Africa is about to undergo a technological leap in its energy supply mode.
Africa has the ability to lead the way in fueling long-term growth while avoiding the risks posed by climate change.
The steady decline in the cost of renewable energy, especially for solar and wind, makes this change possible. For example, with a capacity of 10 terawatts, it is estimated that solar power in Africa could rise from 15 to 62 GW by 2030, at a competitive cost. Solar power is also the fastest to deploy and the most adaptable, from large size units to individual kits.
But only an inclusive business model built around balanced public-private partnerships, with a fair distribution of benefits, can achieve this positive outcome. It is equally essential to develop local know-how through the massive use of domestic subcontractors, the training of a local workforce and the redistribution of dividends to investors from the continent.
The combination of the technological innovation and the economic attractiveness of Africa has the power to trigger the renewable revolution in Africa… and to transform the destiny of an entire continent.
Solar installations are only the first chapter of this transformation. Because, ultimately, power and information networks are going to converge, which will in turn allow the development of smart integrated solutions for the distribution of not only of electricity but also content.
The continent may just be the perfect laboratory for innovative energy solutions while contributing to the fight against global warming.
We strongly believe this is not a utopian ideal; it is the mission we set for ourselves when we created GreenWish.