Energy is a vital concern across Africa. The continent’s total electricity consumption increased 650% between 1971 and 2013, from 80 TWh to 600 TWh, and this growth is expected to continue. Over the next 25 years, electricity demand will triple in Southern Africa and quadruple in Eastern Africa. Beyond the growth expected in the existing energy supply, there is also the need to deliver modern energy services to those currently without access. Less than 25% of households in sub-Saharan Africa have electricity access, a percentage which drops as low as 10% in rural areas.
The good news is that Africa has vast renewable energy resources that can meet much of the continent’s rapidly growing needs.This, combined with the precipitous drop of renewable energy technology costs, creates a massive opportunity for African countries to both transform and expand their energy systems while providing a pathway for low-carbon economic growth.
The international renewable energy community gathers today in Cape Town to help speed this transition. The South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), themed “RE-energising Africa”, seeks to position Africa as the business destination for renewables energy, given its current growth trajectory and need for clean energy investment for sustainable economic growth.
Join IRENA at one of our side events in room 1:60, or at stand #1 in the exhibit hall to learn more about the exciting work underway on renewable energy in Africa.