The Crux of the Matter
The quest for sustainable energy solutions has become one of the most pressing matters in our globe. Several studies have proved that environmental emissions from energy use have posed a threat to the ecosystem by accelerating climate change and global warming. As a result, several tech companies have committed to developing more and more eco-friendly energy alternatives to avoid a tragic global catastrophe.
Given the scarcity of conventional energy infrastructures in Africa, such a shift in the nature of demand in energy source is great news to “the dark continent”. With a wise master plan, this could be an opportunity that can possibly change the ugly image of the continent. Who would have guessed “the dark continent” could be a potential for sustainable energy alternatives.
Seizing the Opportunity
Using off-grid solar energy is one of the significant steps taken by various African countries. Many enterprises appear to be taking advantage of the potential to provide energy as the focus has shifted away from centralized national energy supply and toward off-grid solutions. According to the 2022 International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports on Africa and its regions, the use of renewable energy in the continent has increased significantly since 2011. The report also indicated it is going to keep rising the coming years.
It seems like, African countries have just recently begun to put their enormous resources to use, several renewable projects are blooming here and there. Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana and Morocco are investing in solar plant projects to bring light to communities that are currently living in the dark.
Similarly, some of these nations are launching and undergoing constructions of large scale hydropower plants. Hydropower projects like the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) of Ethiopia, Aswan Dam of Egypt, Cahora Basa Dam of Mozambique and Inga dams of Democratic Republic of Congo are promising advancements for the whole Africa.
Some African nations are even step ahead in contemplating to market this massive sustainable energy alternatives to European countries. This is a great opportunity to boost their economies. The question remains, though, if it is possible to build the infrastructures with optimum cost, the parties that will get involved for funding such projects and if the funding could bring about undesirable consequences. These are the fundamental concerns that must be addressed before getting off the ground. After all, history taught everyone, having valuable resources with no insightful precautions was not always a great news.
Radical Master Plan in Need
Many studies have confirmed that Africa is a land rich in renewable resources. However, it has not yet been tapped to benefit its own communities. It is indeed no secret that, like any other problem in Africa, this sector is also facing financial challenges for energy projects. For that matter, a well-crafted legislative framework that can encourage green energy investment is required over all the continent.
As all human existence is well aware of, Africa has come a long way, from being “the dark continent” to being a “the resource stock”, to being “the laughing stock”. It is about time, African nations come up with an extraordinary game plan that targets in harnessing abundant resources to light up the continent. After all, whenever opportunity knocks it’s always best to let it in.