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[REPORT] IRENA says renewables could comprise a quarter of Africa’s energy supply by 2030

A wind farm in South Africa [IMAGE CREDIT: Shutterstock]

What will the world’s energy supply look like 10 years from now? What about 15 or 20 years from now? There is no doubt that it will look somewhat different from the way energy is sourced right now, but there are no limits to the ways in which it will change over the decades. One major expectation in many regions is a broader reliance on renewable power sources like wind and solar. According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Africa has the potential to quadruple its renewable energy output, creating a situation where renewable sources could potentially supply up to a quarter of the continent’s energy needs by 2030.

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As The Guardian reports, the IRENA study finds that Africa as a whole is currently running on five percent renewable energy, but a number of factors contribute to the potential for a much higher percentage of renewable opportunities:

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, said a steep drop in the price of renewables technology, combined with the fact that Africa holds some of the best renewable energy resources in the world, had resulted in a “massive opportunity” to expand energy systems while providing a pathway for low-carbon growth.


 IRENA sees this potential coming not from one source of renewable energy in particular, but rather a diversified mix of four important sources: “hydropower, wind, solar power, and modern biomass systems.” Such a move could reportedly ultimately save African countries billions while improving air quality and public health. 

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Of course a common roadblock in achieving sweeping energy reform is the effort and political support needed to start putting the infrastructure in place to make this happen. To ensure that change is able to happen in earnest, the IRENA report urges governments in Africa to support renewable energy through policy and achievable renewable targets, plus investment and financing on a local level where feasible. 25 percent renewable energy reliance might be an ambitious goal, but with the right support in place it’s possible.

[SOURCE: The Guardian]


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