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Africa Can Quadruple Renewable Energy Share Says Report

The report finds that some of the African countries like Kenya, Rwanda and twelve others are already tapping into renewable energy to power their energy needs.
Adnan Amin, Director General International Renewbale Energy Agency
The African continent could generate nearly a quarter of its energy needs through the use of indigenous, clean, renewable energy by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Africa 2030 – a comprehensive roadmap for Africa\'s energy transition – finds that a combination of modern renewable technology could feasibly meet 22 per cent of Africa\'s energy needs by 2030, a more than a four-fold increase from just five per cent in 2013.

The report also finds that scaling up modern renewables in Africa is an affordable means to help meet fast-growing energy demands while increasing energy access, improving health and achieving sustainability goals.

“Africa holds some of the best renewable energy resources in the world in the form of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The report identifies nearly 10 exajoules – the equivalent of more than 341 million tonnes of coal – of options for sustainable development through renewable energy.

Solar resources are abundant across the continent, while biomass and hydro power potential are more plentiful in the central and southern regions.

Wind resources are strongest in the north, east, and southern regions, and geothermal energy is strong in the Great Rift Valley.

The report estimates that a shift to modern renewable energy cooking solutions would reduce the use of traditional cook stoves by more than 60 per cent, saving  20 to 30 billion annually dollars by 2030 through the reduction of health complications from poor indoor air quality.

“Tapping into renewable energy resources is the only way African nations can fuel economic growth, maximise socio-economic development and enhance energy security with limited environmental impact,” said Amin.

He said the technologies are available, reliable and increasingly cost-competitive.  Adnan Amin said the onus is now on Africa\'s governments to create conditions to accelerate deployment of renewable energy resources.

At its conclusion, the report recommends a suite of 14 actions to speed the uptake of renewables on the continent by creating enabling policies and a regulatory framework to catalyse investment, adopting investment promotion measures to attract investors, and promoting off-grid renewable energy solutions to increase energy access and reduce poverty.

Africa 2030 is built on a country-by-country assessment of supply, demand, renewable energy potential, and technology prospects.

The report was released on the sidelines of the South African International Renewable Energy Conference, which aims to provide a global platform for government, private sector and civil society leaders to advance renewable energy.

The 2015 conference is themed “RE-energising Africa” and seeks to position Africa as the business destination for renewables energy, given its current growth trajectory and need for clean energy investment for sustainable economic growth.

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