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Renewable energy key to inclusive recovery in Africa: report

Solar plant in Gomba

Nairobi, Kenya | XINHUA | Greater uptake of cleaner energy technologies is key to hasten inclusive economic recovery in Africa after devastations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, said a report launched in Nairobi on Friday.

The continent’s ability to jump-start economies after a downturn linked to the pandemic hinges on investments in cleaner sources of power, according to the report titled “Renewable Energy in Africa: An Opportunity in a time of crisis”.

“Renewable energy is already well suited to Africa, “said Landry Ninteretse, the Regional Team Leader for green lobby group 350Africa.org.

“Many people live out of centralized grids in a continent rich in wind, hydro and solar resources, they should be easily deployed to meet the needs of these unserved and underserved populations,” he added.

The renewable energy report that was commissioned by green lobby groups, 350Africa.org and WoMin Africa Alliance said the continent was on course towards low carbon transition despite setbacks linked to COVID-19.

It said that renewable energy installation is projected to go up to over 77 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from the current 15 GW, adding that bold actions are required to minimize use of fossil fuels amid ecological threats.

“Given the extraordinary challenges facing Africa including the interconnected climate, ecological, economic and social crises, the region must be visionary and act with urgency to bring an energy revolution,” said the report.

The report mapped renewable energy projects across ten African countries including Kenya.

It revealed that Kenya leads with the highest share of renewable technologies that contributed 47.2 percent of electricity generation capacity followed by Uganda with 20.7 percent.

The report said that fiscal incentives like tax waivers are key to encourage private sector investments in the renewable energy space in Africa.

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