If you’re planning to put your money into more eco-friendly endeavors, then maybe you should consider investing in Africa’s growing sustainable energy sector wherein solar zones and wind farms are expected to revolutionize the green power scene throughout the continent.
According to experts at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, strategic investments into sustainable energy initiatives are the way forward if Africa is to achieve a more sustainable future.
Based on information gleaned from a continent-wide study on how more sustainable power sources will impact the economic progress of African nations, investment from both development banks and multilateral financial institutions will go a long way toward decarbonizing the power generation industry. While Egypt and South Africa are currently considered the best locations for renewable investments, areas within Sub-Saharan Africa are also being considered for the future.
Based on experts’ analyses, solar and wind farms are ideal areas for investment in terms of feasible climates, overall reliability once attached to greater electrical grids, appropriate geological landscape, political stability, and socioeconomic factors.
Experts agree that these findings are timely and vital, seeing how most power investments within the African continent have been mostly uncoordinated.
Why Egypt and South Africa?
For now, the best possible areas for investing into renewable power sources are Egypt and South Africa.
In the case of the former, the cost of power generated per unit will be around 29.7% lower than that generated by conventional gas-powered electric plants.
Wind farm investment in South Africa, on the other hand, would lead to power costs per unit going down by 16.7% compared to current rates from coal-fired power plants.
According to Nick Eyre, one of the co-authors of the Oxford study and a professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the university, any investments into Africa need to be geared towards the improvement of grid infrastructure and reliability in order to handle more substantial investments into the renewable energy sector.
Dr. Jay Doorga, a former environmental change and management researcher and co-author of the Oxford study, concurs with Eyre’s statement. Doorga adds that knowing which areas to invest in as well as proper coordination among donor agencies or corporations is necessary and will have a greater impact. This, he feels, is something that organizations like the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Union need to take into serious consideration.
Doorga adds that strategic renewable energy investment on a utility-wide scale at key sites may avert a possible lock-in of fossil fuels in the future. Also, this potential milestone for the decarbonization of the African energy industry will call for a massive improvement in terms of both physical infrastructure as well as the overall administrative framework.