Following increased demand for power in Africa, the continent’s renewable energy sector is expected to rise to about $57 billion by 2020, a senior UN official was quoted as saying.
The Director, Governance and Public Administration Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr Said Adejumobi, told a business forum of investors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the sector recorded “a staggering 1,583% increase between 2004 and 2011.”
Mr Said believes that the demand for energy will grow in the near future, a growth that will be precipitated by a combination of factors, including Africa’s notable economic progress in the last 15 years, which averaged about 5% GDP growth rate; the demographic structure in which over 60% of the continent’s population is made up of young people; and the increasing rate of urbanization in Africa.
The key growth areas in the sector he said, include wind, solar and geothermal power, he therefore emphasised the need for foreign direct investment into the continent’s energy and power infrastructure.
“Investment in renewable energy, is a major priority for Africa,” he said.
He indicated that the enormous growth amounts to $3.6 billion in 2011 from $750 million in 2004 and is mainly due to the large unmet demand, combined with abundantly available sources of renewable energy in Africa.