Meeting Africa’s Power Demand
An ABIQ webinar
As the world looks to develop new energy sources, moving the means of production closer to one source of raw materials could be a huge boost towards meeting Africa’s growing increased demand for secure, sustainable and affordable power.
Sustainability, cost-effectiveness and how to attract investment, topped the agenda at a webinar hosted by ABIQ, which heard how a mix of traditional fuels and renewables, accompanied by regulatory reforms to provide a favourable business climate, can power the continent in coming decades.
Consultant Patrick Udechukwu said Africa offers not only oil and gas reserves, but minerals necessary for sustainable energy production, such as 3/4 of the worlds cobalt reserves – vital for batteries – from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and chromium from South Africa, which is used for the construction of wind turbines.
However, The US, China, Europe and Scandinavia are at the centre of manufacturing plants.
“A private and public partnership approach could make it cost-effective to bring in these industries, with the right government regulatory and fiscal policies, and would also cut out shipping costs,” Udechukwu said.
“Industries can be bought close to resources.”
An integrated approach is key to meeting Africa’s power demand, the panel agreed.
Dan Klinck, CEO East African Power, pointed out resources available across the continent also include provision for solar and hydro-electric power. But co-operation is essential across borders, in order for the energy needs of each nation to be met.
He said: “Each country, working in isolation, drives imbalance and curtails growth.”
Soizic Le Lesle Fauvelle, of the Sustainable Energy Council, applauded the panel’s collective desire for an integrated approach to accommodate an energy mix and Klinck emphasised Rwanda’s green power commitment – an approach the panellists agreed can reach areas currently off national power grids.
But all agreed funding was vital. Energy development executive Dr Goodluck Enimakpokpo, added it was governmental responsibility to establish institutions enabling outside investors to do business.
Klinck said: “The world needs to prioritise investment in Africa, and green investment and renewable energy must be at the top of that priority.”
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