Africa has launched an ambitious Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) to develop more than 10GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and at least 300GW by 2030, potentially making the continent the cleanest in the world, The Guardian reported.
This Africa-wide mega-scale initiative backed by all African heads of state should see the continent greatly increase its renewable energy by accelerating solar, hydro, wind and geothermal energy, while reducing reliance on coal and cutting emissions.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Africa is facing the global challenge to overcome energy poverty as estimations show that continent’s annual electricity consumption per capita for 2012 was around 600 kWh, compared with the world average of 3,064 kWh.
AREI is an outcome of African leadership in Workstream II of the Durban Platform launched at the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris.
“A total of seven million Africans have no access to clean energy and the majority uses charcoal and kerosene. This always leads to deaths. We must stop this,” Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the major sponsors of the initiative, said according to TDWorld. Adesina added that Africa needed massive financing for climate change mitigation and that 40% of AfDB’s resources will be earmarked to tackle these issues.