Access to environmentally and socially sustainable energy is essential to economic growth and poverty reduction. As we have already said, over 650 million people are without access to electricity across Africa. Indeed across the world, every year fumes and smoke from open cooking fires kill about 1.6 million people and these are mostly women and children, as they die from respiratory diseases. According to the African Development Bank, the entire installed generation capacity of the 48 Sub-Saharan African countries is just 68 gigawatts, just about equivalent to that of Spain alone. And as much as one-quarter of this capacity is unavailable because of aging plants and poor maintenance. It is clear therefore that current approaches, involving dependence on fossil fuels for adequate electricity may never work as a rule across Africa. Communities that are rich in fossil fuels may however found it cheaper to continue to lean on it. According to a story in the Economist magazine Africa has some of the worldâ€™s best potential sites for wind, solar and hydropower. The story suggests that investors are appear ready to test the market by putting up a few windmills than by committing to big power stations. What seems like a workable solution for Nigeria and many African countries is switching to individual renewable energy platforms just like was done in telecommunications when there was a switch from costly landlines with buried cables to cellular telephony that does not require much infrastructure and construction. The Renewable energy solution, if its costs continue to decline may well be an imperative for ending the energy crisis in Nigeria and the rest if Africa. Something dramatic and extraordinary must be done. To be globally competitive, we will have to dedicate at least a quarter of our extracted natural resources for the next decade to the provision of power, and that would be using renewable energy where fossil solutions are prohibitive. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that's my view.
Posted: Jul 11th, 2017 @ 03:10:07 AM