“Africa’s energy potential is as enormous as its electricity deficit,” says African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina.Adesina said this while addressing investors at the recently concluded Energy Week conference, held at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Among the sessions was one dedicated to the off-grid energy sector, discussing interventions to support the scale-up of energy access investments. Read more...
According to the Bank, the overall objective is to unleash an “Off-Grid Energy Revolution”, to provide up to 75 million households and businesses not covered by the power grid with modern, clean and affordable electricity using decentralised solar technologies.
“We must move quickly to unlock this energy potential. We must be smart, efficient, sustainable and quick in our actions,” Adesina said. Read more...
Off-grid energy revolution
The Off-Grid Revolution stakeholder consultation has been established under the framework of the New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to provide universal energy access to all Africans by 2025.
“Although we can employ mix of approaches, off-grid solutions must be at the core of our approach to achieve the ambitious electricity access targets that we have set,” Adesina added.
Highlighting some achievements, the AfDB Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, noted that millions of Africans have recently been connected to electricity by start-ups, driven by plummeting costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries, innovations in mobile payments and wireless communications technologies.
“These businesses are increasing energy access across Africa faster, more cheaply, and more widely than conventional grid extension,” Hott said.
Long-term integrated planning
Among the challenges that were addressed, stakeholders reiterated the need for a stronger political will by governments to ensure long-term integrated planning of off-grid and on-grid.
Investors also agreed on the need for more patient capital and local currency financing, hedging tools to mitigate foreign exchange risks, and to improve the credit scoring data.
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