05 October 2015| Articles
IRENA’s newly released report Africa 2030 provides a comprehensive roadmap for the continent’s energy transition, and illuminates a viable path to prosperity through renewable energy development. The report finds that Africa could feasibly generate 22% of its energy needs through the use of indigenous, clean, renewable energy by 2030. This is more than quadruple the 5% in place today. In doing so it would eliminate power shortages, bring electricity and development opportunities to rural villages, spur on industrial growth, create entrepreneurs, and support increased prosperity across the continent.
The report identifies nearly 10 exajoules – the equivalent of more than 341 megatonnes of coal – of options for sustainable development through renewable energy. Roughly 40 per cent of this energy would be in the power sector and 50 per cent of the energy would be through biomass-based heat applications.
As part of this roadmap, the following projects and programmes were highlighted to show action already taking place on renewables in Africa. They support renewables for heating, cooling and drying; provide capacity building, access to finance and create jobs; and provide holistic support.
Renewables for Heating/Cooling/Drying
Capacity Building for Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs
IRENA and the ECREEE have established the ECOWAS Entrepreneur Support Facility in April 2015 to provide advisory assistance to small and medium-sized renewable energy (particularly solar PV) entrepreneurs on matters related to business management and operations, project proposal refinement as well as supporting an entrepreneur to successfully bring his or her innovative ideas to fruition.
Access to Finance for Renewable Projects
Solar Sister is an initiative that retails portable solar lights in rural sub-Saharan Africa through female solar entrepreneurs. Sister uses a system of micro-consignment: female entrepreneurs selling solar lights do not pay for their inventory until a sale is made and cash flow is available, and no interest is charged.
Africa 2030 is built on a country-by-country assessment of supply, demand, renewable energy potential, and technology prospects. The effort is a part of IRENA’s REmap 2030 programme, which provides a roadmap to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030.
RRA is a country-driven process that helps IRENA to engage with relevant national or regional stakeholders in a dialogue to pinpoint renewable energy drivers, comparative advantages, enabling policies and measures. So far 12 RRAs have been facilitated in Africa and have triggered tangible changes in legislation, institutional set-ups and have led to concrete regional advisory services and initiatives.