BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
AFRICA requires approximately US$70 billion in annual investment in renewables until 2030 to implement a clean energy transition
This is according to a report launched by the Africa Oil and Power (AOP) duped Africa Energy Series: Africa Renewables 2021 digital report.
The report identifies the government targets, large-scale projects and strategic opportunities shaping renewable development across the continent.
It also outlines pan-African investment opportunities in clean energy development, on the back of global initiatives that call for an increasingly decarbonized energy sector.
According to the report, the continent must target a diversified energy mix that will curb emissions without cutting off the pathway to economic growth for African nations with natural gas reserves.
“As countries continue to shift towards climate-friendly energy production, hydrogen has emerged as a key fuel source. In fact, hydrogen production is expected to rise to 300 million metric tons by 2030, a substantial increase from just 60 million metric tons in 2018.
“Whether produced via renewable electricity or carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen can significantly decarbonize high-polluting industries and be potentially transformative for developing countries seeking sustainable energy supplies that remain aligned with global climate goals,” the report said.
With a total power generation potential of approximately 1,475 Giga Watts from renewables, Africa could – in theory – achieve energy security through the development of its own resources in exclusion.
The report however said renewable resources remained significantly underdeveloped and difficult to cultivate into the stable energy supply needed to meet rising energy demand on the continent, as they are often located away from large population centres and not available on demand.
“The development of green hydrogen energy, therefore, could emerge as a widely deployable solution that could mitigate seasonal variability associated with renewables, while maximising renewable use in domestic energy systems,” the report said.