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This week, South Africa will see African energy leaders gathering in Johannesburg to discuss ways to provide affordable and clean energy across the continent.

Among the challenges that are hindering the development of making electricity accessible in Africa remains on the lack of infrastructure, reports Clean Technica.

Media highlighted that amid the primary concerns for attendees will be seeking ways to unlock the massive levels of investment that are needed to grow a clean and reliable electricity network for Africa.

It is reported that a potential of up to 1,100GW of solar capacity in Africa alone has recently been identified.

Sustainable energy future through infrastructure

Clean Technica quoted a report by the World Bank, which indicated 170GW worth of 3,200 low-carbon energy projects, noting that it would require a total capital of $157 billion in investments.

Dr Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure, Africa Union, and Vice Chair for Africa at the World Energy Council, commented: “I believe the time for more serious action has come for scaling up the implementation of renewable energy in Africa.”

Ibrahim added: “The continent has abundant renewable energy resources in the form of hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal and bio-energy that are appropriate for responding to the challenge of energy access, especially for our large rural population.

"Thus, the African Union Commission, alongside the World Energy Council, is set to speed up renewable energy projects and strategies already in the pipeline and developed to support the African continent in achieving a sustainable energy future.”

Energy solutions

Africa Energy Indaba's managing director, Liz Hart, also commented: “The African continent has the necessary mineral resources, climate and geology to meet its energy requirements. However, in many of its countries, there is a lack of funding, institutional will or technical skill to assist in developing the energy sector.

“The Indaba attempts to address this lack by connecting people and rainmakers who can boost sector development on a regional scale.

Hart noted that without access to energy, Africa’s growth will be stifled and, as such, investing in energy solutions for the continent is “mandatory and absolutely necessary.”