Morocco and Kenya are leading the way in converting to clean energy in Africa. However, further progress is needed as two-thirds of the continent’s growing electricity generation continues to be supported by fossil fuels.
This emerges from a new Global Electricity Review published by activists from the British NGO Ember.
Morocco had the highest wind and solar energy at 16 percent in 2019, with Kenya generating 15 percent of its electricity mainly from wind sources and far less solar energy. Both countries beat the global average of 9.4 percent determined by Ember analysts.
For comparison: Nigeria and Algeria generated less than 1 percent of their electricity from wind and sun, according to the report. Egypt rose to 3 percent in 2019, largely due to investments in solar power, while South Africa now generates at least 6 percent of its electricity from wind and solar.
“Solar and wind energy are the cheapest sources of new power generation in Africa today,” said Professor Anton Eberhard from the University of Cape Town’s Power Futures Lab. “With the increasing share of these variable energy sources, new challenges arise for the power supply systems in Africa, especially for the network operators, who have to procure and manage additional flexible resources in order to guarantee security and stability of supply.”
South Africa still relies on fossil fuels for 89 percent of its energy needs, well above the global average. It continues to rely on coal far more than any other African nation.
“At the same time, more than half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa still has no access to electricity,” said Duncan Gibb, a renewable energy analyst. “Ember’s Global Electricity Review shows the tremendous potential of African nations to build affordable renewable energy and power their citizens.”
Image: Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Project / File