A major preoccupation of the just-concluded visit to Asia by an African Development Bank team led by its President, Akinwumi Adesina, was the search for an efficient energy system that can be easily adapted in some of the most energy-starved African countries.
Energy is at the top of the Bank’s High 5 priorities – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for Africans. It seeks to tackle one of the most daunting challenges to the continent’s development – energy poverty among its 640 million people.
The Bank unveiled its New Deal on Energy for Africa, and launched a Transformative Partnership on Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2016. In this regard, the Bank has since begun to identify reliable partners and businesses that can help to achieve universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025.
One of such partners is J-POWER, a wholesale power generator and wire company established by the Japanese government in 1952 and privatized in 2004. Owned by Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (EPDC), J-POWER and distributes wholesale energy from principally hydroelectric and fossil-fueled plants to 10 utilities located across Japan.
Its attractiveness for some African countries derives from the “build, scrap, build” approach, which makes it possible to replace existing plants without disruption of electricity provision; effective territorial space management and efficient delivery of clean energy.
For the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Korea Midland Power Corporation pride themselves on state-of-the-art power generation and distribution technologies at home and abroad. For instance, KEPCO’s 1.5% and 2.03% transmission and distribution loss rates, respectively, and 10.26 minutes per year household blackout rate would be a welcome change for those energy-impoverished regions in Africa.