A switch to renewables could grow Africa’s economy by 6.4% in 2050
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) - a lead intergovernmental agency for the global energy transformation – in collaboration with the African Development Bank published “Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and Its Regions” earlier this month. The report claims that energy-efficiency investments have the potential to boost the African economy by approximately 6.4% and create millions of new jobs. The CESET project and the mini-grid we will build in a province of Maputo will be part of this renewable energy transition.
An energy system centred on renewable energy can help resolve many of Africa’s social, economic, health and environmental challenges. A profound energy transition is not only feasible, it is essential for a climate-safe future in which sustainable development prerogatives are met. Renewables are key to overcoming energy poverty, providing needed energy services without damaging human health or ecosystems, and enabling a transformation of economies in support of development and industrialisation.
Africa is extraordinarily diverse, and no single approach will advance its energy future. But efforts must be made to build modern, resilient and sustainable energy systems across the continent to avoid trapping economies and societies in increasingly obsolete energy systems that burden them with stranded assets and limited economic prospects.
The report sets out the opportunities at hand, while also acknowledging the challenges Africa faces. It lays out a pathway to a renewables-based energy system and shows that the transition promises substantial gains in GDP, employment, and human welfare in each region of the continent.
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We know that renewable energy can help to resolve many of these social, economic, health and environmental challenges. Renewables are key to overcoming energy poverty, providing energy services without damaging human health or ecosystems, and enabling sustainable socio-economic development. As this report shows, a transition to a renewables-based energy system in Africa promises substantial gains in GDP, employment, and human welfare in each of the continent’s constitutive regions.