In the last ten years, only 2% of renewable energy installed worldwide was in Africa. Why only 2% of global RE in Africa? Five years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and with only ten years for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the strategic analysis highlights how Africa is the region that has experienced the least development in the energy sector in the last decade.
The situation that emerges by a study shows a continent characterized by sustained demographic and economic growth, particularly dynamic in terms of urbanization and digitization. This low energy consumption is also mostly linked to residential activities: less than a quarter of consumption is due to production activities, mostly concentrated in South Africa and in the northern part of the continent.
In the face of these data, the study highlights the incredible (and unused) African potential in terms of clean energy. In fact, Africa enjoys abundant renewable energy resources, increasingly cheaper, mostly represented by bioenergy, hydroelectric, photovoltaic and wind power.
This potential renewable energy capacity could generate up to 24,000 TWh of electricity annually, corresponding to 90% of the world's electricity production in 2018 and more than 26 times that currently generated by the continent.
Africa and renewable energies: the situation
The study highlighting the limited government support and unsuitable regulations, the difficulty of exploiting the advantages of energy integration due to insufficient interconnections and infrastructures, and the need to put energy renewables at the heart of the economic and industrial development of African markets.
Despite the growing global demand for energy and the enormous potential in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, investments in renewables in Africa are still extremely limited due to market instability and a high level of risk perceived by investors due to the lack of of guarantees and integrated de-risking systems.
Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power and President of the RES4Africa Foundation, said about the sudy and the situation: "The transformation of Africa, characterized by sustained economic and demographic growth, intense urbanization and a generation of talent that is leading to a long neglected entrepreneurial revolution, requires energy and will require even more in the coming decades.
While in the rest of the world the growth of renewable energy has increased sharply in the last decade, only 2% of the new renewable capacity has occurred in Africa: we cannot be satisfied of what has been achieved so far.
Universal access to electricity will not be guaranteed if we are not able to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Africa is a continent with enormous energy and production potential. The priority of governments and the international community must be to exploit and optimize the incredible renewable resources of this continent, in order to ensure their full and sustainable development."