Africa has abundant energy resources – but low access to modern energy services
The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) estimates that demand for power will grow annually by 6% to 2040. Present power generation capacity in Africa stands at around 124 gigawatts. This will have to increase to 700 gigawatts by 2040 if demand is to be met.
The Energy Challenge
Over half of Africa’s 1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. This is a major constraint to Africa’s economic development, while universal access to reliable, modern, sustainable energy can turbo-charge growth across the continent. Africa’s population is forecast to increase to 1.8 billion by 2040. Coupled with the modernising of Africa’s economies, and increasing urbanisation & industrialisation, this means demand for energy will grow annually by 6% to 2040. Meeting this demand will require power generation capacity to increase from the current 124 gigawatts to 700 gigawatts by 2040.
Addressing the Energy Challenge
Africa’s energy challenge can be overcome. The continent’s energy resources are sufficient to meet its needs, and there are limitless opportunities to develop clean/renewable energy. To exploit these resources will require greater levels of investment in the sector, at both national and regional levels, together with political commitment backed by strengthened policy and regulatory frameworks. The ICA encourages investment in Africa’s energy sector through facilitating dialogue, providing training to improve public skills and facilitate private sector participation, enhancing coordination and sharing information.
The Atlas of Africa Energy Resources, developed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), provides visual information on the challenges and opportunities to providing Africa’s population with access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services.
This publication provides a comprehensive update to the 2011 Regional Power Status in Africa Power Pools report, which provided an overview of the status of Africa’s five Regional Power Pools.