Many communities around the world would benefit from a low impact renewable energy source to power their daily lives, and African countries may just be on track to lead the world in the initiative. It’s an exciting time in Africa and many experts believe that renewable energy is about to explode across the continent to provide millions of people the proper energy and electricity they need.
It is reported that 2/3rd of the population lives without properly working electricity, and USAID has put together a road map to bring electricity to the region on a massive scale. The International Renewable Energy Agency has also weighed in on the project stating that by 2030, it will have contributed up to 22% of Africa’s total energy consumption based on modern renewable energy technology and spanning cooperation.
Former UN chief Kofi Annan has partnered up with various business leaders and politicians throughout 14 different African countries to launch a global campaign to bring power to more than 620 million people.
Through various renewable technologies that span the countries available resources such as solar-energy, hydro-energy, wind-energy and more, these innovators are looking to the future and how to responsibly provide for their countrymen.
A key factor to the success of this program will be to match the proper renewable resource to the right technology, and one can’t expect to see solar panels running across all of Africa. While solar power may be a major factor in the project, making sure to harness the most “reliable” resource is important to the campaign. Making sure to carefully plan and organize the efforts relevant to the proper power source is a main focus for the project. So what power sources are available to the country?
Solar-Power -The sun shines for just about everyone, unless you live in a dense rain forest that blocks out most of the sun’s rays. So having a solar panel is often a consistent way to capture the rays of the sun and power your home, electronics and other devices.
Wind-Power – Living on the great plains and sub-Sahara areas of Africa can also provide wind power alternatives to help supplement the power shortage of the region. With constant wind, a wind turbine can produce up to 6 million kWh per year based on it’s size.
Hydro-Power – Africa is not just sun and wind, and with thousands of miles of coastal regions, lakes and rivers, some are proposing the use of hydro generators to help pump electricity across the area. For example the Nile, the world’s longest river, makes it one of Africa’s greatest potential sources of hydro-power.
While African countries are certainly gaining world-wide recognition for their plans to expand electricity in the region, many big businesses that offer equipment, services, and other means to help produce power have piqued interest, making this not only a wonderful project for bringing light to the people who need it, but potentially building up the economy as more investors look to get in on the action.
Only time will tell how successful this initiative becomes, but one thing is for certain, with the world consuming more natural resources each year than we can sustain, finding renewable energy sources and successful business plans to produce long term effects will be a necessity not just for Africa, but for the entire world as we wait in anticipation to see how well we can pull off this unprecedented initiative.