Africa has the potential and the ability to fuel the majority of its future growth with renewable energy.
According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), African countries are experiencing some of the world’s fastest economic and demographic growth – with six of the world’s ten fastest rising economies, and a population expected to increase from 1 to 2 billion people by 2050.
Policy makers face a choice: do they focus on dirty, often expensive and insecure fossil fuels, or do they embrace the continent’s massive renewable energy potential? The decisions they take today will have a lasting impact on growth, environment, health and poverty reduction, as well as global CO2 emissions.
With world-class solar and hydropower resources, complemented by bioenergy, wind, geothermal and marine resources in some regions, the report shows that Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog to modern renewable energy – unlocking huge economies of scale, and offering substantial benefits for equitable development, local value creation, energy security, and environmental sustainability.
“Africa is undergoing a transformation, and has an unparalleled opportunity to use renewable energy to promote growth and improve millions of lives across the continent,” says Adnan Z Amin, IRENA Director-General. “It’s an exciting moment, and IRENA is ready to play its role in assisting Africa on its path to a renewable energy future.”