Is green energy the solution to Africa’s energy dilemma?
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Africa is predicted to become the world’s most populous region over the next few decades, overtaking China and India. With major cities in South Africa and Nigeria already facing unstable power supplies and rolling blackouts, how will the continent tackle this issue as the population increases?
Green energy might be the solution.
Following this year’s COP26 meeting, the world has set its sights on using clean energy and decreasing carbon emissions to zero by the year 2050. Many African corporations have already opted to use solar power and other renewable energy sources to contribute to this mission. ABSA’s Managing Principal of Resources and Renewable Energy, Shirley Webber says that this energy transition is essential, but can’t happen as quickly as people expect.
[We, in South Africa] can’t just switch off coal today and think that we’re going to live happily ever after. It's not going to happen like that. And that is what we all need to realize.Shirley Webber, Managing Principal of resources and energy at ABSA Corporate and Investment Bank
Transportation will see a rise in demand as populations grow, meaning more fossil fuels will be used to sustain demand. However, as a continent, Africa has a number of greener energy options to tap into. It will just take time for them to be properly exploited across the continent.
A continent rich in oil, natural gas and also energy minerals and metals -especially those in battery storage technologies. And clearly there are a lot of alternative metals out there as well. Copper, lithium, cobalt and graphite can be used in this entire energy transition. For us, this is very exciting. I think Africa has it all.Shirley Webber, Managing Principal of resources and energy at ABSA Corporate and Investment Bank
With COP 26 still large in the news, Webber mentions the urgency in which African countries need to act in order to achieve net-zero emissions – saying evidence should be provided by corporations to show their contribution to this mission.
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