The International Energy Agency has reported that renewable energy will meet the majority of Africa’s expanding power needs over the coming decades, as the continent unlocks vast hydropower resources.
Energy demand south of the Sahara Desert is estimated to grow by 80% by 2040 as the economy quadruples in size, with renewable energy and hydropower supplying almost half of this growth.
The report suggests that the continent will take “a major step forward” in spreading electricity to rural areas, and subsequently bringing people out of poverty. The first stages have already begun, with governments now increasing their efforts to challenge political and regulatory barriers that are stunting investment in energy resources.
The infrastructure of the continent will need to advance significantly, as currently Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 13% of the world’s population, but only 4% of the world’s energy demand.