Although there are high hopes for renewable energy to be Africa’s ticket to an economic safe haven, there is much work to be done. Currently, the continent is not well equipped enough to manage the resources it has at its doorstep.
“’Many governments are now intensifying their efforts to tackle the numerous regulatory and political barriers that are holding back investment in domestic energy supply,” the report said. “But inadequate energy infrastructure risks putting a brake on urgently needed improvements’” (renewableenergyworld.com).
The IEA’s primary job is to advise countries on energy policy and energy management so as to see that they are meeting the energy efficiency standards set by industrial nations. Currently, only a small portion of the Sub-Saharan African region has access to electricity even though this region possesses 13 percent of the world population and 4 percent of the total energy demand.
The majority of energy that reaches the region is being allocated to developing resources to export, however with the surge of renewable potential being tapped, many hope to see the energy begin to reach average people instead of just the producers in the area.
“Large hydro and fossil fuel power plants will improve coverage in urban areas while other clean energy sources lead electrification in rural areas. Mini-grids and off-grid systems will provide power to 70 percent of those gaining access in rural areas, of which two-thirds will be powered by solar, wind and small hydroelectric plants” (renewableenergyworld.com).
There is promise for the electrification of the entire continent assuming that it develops the necessary infrastructure to support the energy traffic. This is the right time to build the infrastructure as renewable energies are becoming much more environmentally as well as fiscally attractive in the production process.