Experts meeting takes forward production of Africa Energy Atlas
10 May 2016
A gathering of energy experts in South Africa last month made good progress towards finalising the production of an interactive atlas showing Africa’s energy resources.
Facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), the three-day meeting in Johannesburg from 5 to 7 April 2016 was attended by selected energy experts in Africa and the directors of the Environmental Pulse Institute, EPI.
The goal of the meeting was to subject the draft Africa Energy Resources Atlas to a detailed and substantive technical peer review, focusing on validating information in the draft and the adequacy of coverage in terms of case studies and hotspots.
Following the meeting, EPI will use the comments and suggestions made by the experts to produce a new draft, aiming for an Atlas of 200-250 pages, with the emphasis on visual material while text is kept to a minimum.
The Africa Energy Resources Atlas will combine illustrative maps, charts and comparative images which can provide important information on energy resources across the continent. The Atlas will target a potential spectrum of end-users, including: policy-makers, utilities etc (e.g. for preliminary evaluation of the technical and economic potential of energy sources); private investors and developers (e.g. for an overview of the market potential before engaging in their own detailed studies); and (iii) academics, institutions and other interest groups (e.g. for research, information and awareness of different energy resources).
The immediate outcomes of the project will be to: (i) Strengthen the availability of data on energy and energy related key issues, through data visualisation to support national and regional planning and decision making at all stakeholder levels, and (ii) provide up-to-date information on country specific energy resource development and related environmental challenges that will be used to attract private investment in the sector. This should ultimately attract more investment in sustainable energy in Africa with positive benefits in terms of job creation, energy access and reduced carbon footprint.
It is anticipated that the Africa Energy Resources Atlas will be finalised and published by October 2016. By creating an online version the Atlas will be regularly updated.