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, access to energy 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.”