Africa is no stranger to energy cuts. What’s worse is that more than 600 million people in the region still live without the benefits of electricity. According to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) report, at least $60 billion a year until 2040 is needed for the construction of energy facilities that can end power woes.
Renewable energy may be present in some African regions but current green facilities aren’t enough to provide continuous power to the big communities. Solomon Asamoah, Vice President of AfDB, said that electricity in the rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa is terribly low.
“Over 30 African countries now face regular power shortages while access to electricity in the sub-Saharan region stands at between 15 % and 40 %,” said Asamoah. “As this amount is far beyond the capacity of any single institution, we are working to leverage other sources of finance and establish strategic partnerships with other development partners. We are also helping our member States to develop public-private partnerships for power infrastructure and to access sources of climate change finance.”
Part of the $60 billion will most likely be used in the construction of facilities that can distribute oil to the local communities. Africa may have abundant reserves of oil but most of them get exported due to the fact that there aren’t a lot of channels that can effectively deliver the commodity within the region. Some countries in Africa have already started countering the distribution problem, with Aliko Dangote’s construction of pipelines in Nigeria being the latest.
Engineering firm Sulzer, Unaoil’s associate in providing maintenance to power companies in Iraq, reports that several countries around the world have made commitments to significantly increase their share of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Many countries in Africa have committed to using renewable energy so part of the $60 billion will be used in constructing additional solar and wind energy facilities. Simon Mizrahi, AfDB’s Quality Assurance, Results, and Energy Director, said that clean energy solutions will play a vital role in bringing power to the remote areas.