There is a huge demand for affordable modern sources of energy in the continent.
Africa has the world’s lowest levels of per capita use of modern energy attributable to its increasingly high population.
Countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt have experienced high fuel prices, and this could double the energy subsidy burdens. In Ethiopia and Uganda, fuel taxes have been reinstated.
In Africa, when discussing energy, electricity is at the forefront, even as the continent continues moving towards renewables.
Did you know that approximately 60% of the World’s most durable solar resources come from Africa?
However, the installed Solar PV capacity is only 1%. Solar PV refers to the photovoltaic materials that convert sunlight into electrical energy.
This is based on the photovoltaic effect through which units of light, scientifically known as photons, release electrons with the use of surfaces made of special or semiconducting material.
In 2020, Global Solar PV generation increased to 821TWh up from 156TWh, the second largest generation of renewables behind wind and second to hydropower.
The sun provides clean and abundant renewable energy, which can be converted into electricity using solar photovoltaic panels or solar PV.
Solar PV systems readily turn sunlight into electricity attributable to the solar cells they contain, made from a semiconductor material such as silicon in between layers of glass material, exiting the panel as direct current and being converted into alternating current.
The panels can be polycrystalline, hybrid, or monocrystalline.
When transforming Africa, electricity is essential to light up and power a region usually referred to as the Dark Continent.
Over 640 million Africans have no access to power energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to The African Development Bank Group.
Not only is access to energy resources crucial for the attainment of SDGs, but also lowers the cost of doing business and ease of education with children in impoverished communities not having access to electricity for studying.
Energy access for all is crucial and inclusive for the marginalized. The potential of Africa’s renewable energy is large-scale, although most of it is untapped.
Hydropower provides approximately a fifth of current capacity but is generally under-utilized.
There are also plenty of other energy sources in the continent such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.
Other alternatives are fossil fuels. Non-renewable resources of energy and the four types of fossil fuels are coal, natural gas, nuclear energy and oil.
Once depleted, they cannot be renewed, hence the term non-renewable. The World Bank Energy works with developing countries to find reliable, sustainable and affordable energy solutions to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Approximately 2.6 billion people are still living in abject poverty, with limited resources to cook and therefore relying on charcoal and firewood to cook their meals hence polluting the environment and increasing their health risks.
About 4 billion people lack access to modern energy cooking services that are efficient, reliable, convenient, safe and affordable.
According to World Bank Energy, clean cooking interventions are important for empowering youth, women and other marginalized groups.
In Kenya, the current installed or grid-connected effective electricity capacity is 2,990 MW and is predominantly sourced from thermal and hydro sources.
The country has a population of about 47.5 million people according to the 2019 census and has one of the most developed power sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting from an active private sector, and the availability of natural resources such as wind, geothermal and solar.
When most people think about clean power, they hardly mention wind. The Kipeto Wind Farm is located 30 kilometers from Nairobi, in Kajiado County, and is Kenya’s second largest wind-power project.
With a generation capacity of 100MW of clean and renewable electrical energy, Kipeto Energy PLC is a special-purpose vehicle incorporated in the country to develop the Kipeto Wind Power Project.
This project advances the Government of Kenya’s goal to achieve universal electrification by 2022 with 85 % of Kenyans having access to electricity.
When talking about power in Africa, Akinwumi Adesina, Africa Development Bank president, posits, “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative:
To light up and power Africa and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlocking the potential of businesses, and driving much-needed industrialization to create jobs.”
The African Energy Chamber is determined to foster the landscape of the African energy sector and has recently partnered with the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists for the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa from 18 to 21 October 2022.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce that the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) recently became an official partner of the AEW conference and exhibition, Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector.
The AEW is set to converge professionals from across different sectors including Cabinet Secretaries from different African countries, petroleum geologists and geophysicists.
The speakers will include Aissatou Sophie, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, and Mohamed Oun, Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Puot Kang Chol, South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum Republic, Bruno Itoua, OPEC President and Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons.
Others will be Dr. J Peter Pham, Former United States Special Envoy for the Sahel Region of Africa among other VIPs and dignitaries.
These discussions will involve current trends, opportunities and challenges across the continent in regard to the oil and gas sectors.
Nigeria is currently Africa’s main oil producer and the eleventh largest oil producer worldwide.
Established in 1975, NAPE has been integral in fostering interaction between Nigerian, African and International oil and gas professionals.
Nigeria aims to increase its gas reserves from 200 trillion cubic feet to 600 tcf for both domestic use and exports.
This year’s discussions will center on accelerating hydrocarbon production while lifting the continent’s over 600 million people from energy poverty hence increasing socioeconomic development in the region.
Aside from socioeconomic development in the region, personal development is also very important, according to Professor Patricia Kefilwe Mogomotsi, from Botswana.
She became her country’s youngest Associate Professor on 31st March 2020. Her major is a doctorate in Economics and Management Science.
She has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters on Natural Resources Economics, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Economics and Tourism.
She is actively involved in leadership in the Africa Science Leadership Programme and is one of the women championing powering the continent using sustainable energy resources.