An integrated policy framework built around the energy transition could bring a wave of new sustainable energy investment to Africa, growing the region’s economy by 6.4% by 2050, according to the results of a published analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the Development Bank (ADB) revealed.

The report, “Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and its Regions,” shows that Africa is prospering significantly from the development enabled by renewable energy, while dramatically improving energy access and delivering profound social and environmental benefits to people across the continent.

Its vision for an energy transition in Africa aligned with global climate ambition shows that the continent will generate an additional 26 million economy-wide jobs by 2050 than projected under the a status quo scenario. The jobs created through the energy transition in Africa would exceed the job losses associated with fossil fuels by a factor of four, representing a significant net gain for regional economies. About 2 million people currently work in the fossil fuel industry in Africa.

“African governments and people are too often asked to rely on unsustainable fossil fuels to power their development while renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions offer economically attractive and socially beneficial alternatives,” said Francesco La Camera. . “The transition offers a unique opportunity for Africa to meet its development imperatives. Through tailored policy packages, African countries can harness their strengths and resources to overcome long-established structural dependencies.

“Africa is endowed with abundant sources of renewable energy, on which it can sustainably base its ambitious socio-economic development. However, this requires strong political commitment, a fair and equitable framework for the energy transition and massive investments. The African Development Bank is committed to supporting the continent’s energy transition, facilitating increased private sector investment through its growing suite of green financing instruments, including the Sustainable Energy Fund for Energy. ‘Africa,” said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President of the African Development Bank. Electricity, energy, climate and green growth.

Coal, natural gas and oil together account for around 70% of total electricity generation in Africa today and conventional energy attracts far more funding than renewable energy in Africa, due to an established process which favors less capital-intensive thermal generation, the report notes. Financing for the energy transition must become more easily accessible. Coordinated efforts must be made to ensure that public spending – the main source of financing Africa’s energy transition – clearly prioritizes renewables.

Of the US$2.8 trillion invested in renewable energy globally between 2000 and 2020, only 2% went to Africa, despite the continent’s huge renewable energy potential and need to bring modern energy to billions of citizens who still do not have access to it. While the rate of access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa has increased from 33% to 46% over the past decade, rapid population growth meant that 570 million people still lacked access to electricity in 2019, i.e. 20 million more than 10 years ago. Around 160 million additional people lacked access to a clean kitchen during the same period.

“It is imperative to enable African countries, which have contributed little to historic greenhouse gas emissions, to develop, while recognizing the need to address the climate emergency,” said Director-General La Camera . “International cooperation, including South-South cooperation, will be essential to mobilize resources and know-how at the scale and speed commensurate with the needs of Africa’s economies, communities and people” .

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