Friday, January 6, 2012

Africa and Renewable Energy Growth

Investment in African Renewable Energy Reaches $3.6 Billion in 2011
04 January 2012 - First, the bad news.

Although Africa has vast fossil and renewable energy sources, only twenty percent of its population has direct access to electricity and in some rural areas, four out of five people are completely without power. According to the UN, over 600 million Africans currently do not have access to electric power. A depressing 70 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is living without access to clean and safe energy for their basic needs such as cooking, lighting and heating, making energy poverty among the most urgent issues facing Africa. Worldwide, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more only have intermittent access.

Over 2.5 billion people, almost half of humanity, rely on traditional biomass - wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste to cook their meals and heat their homes, exposing themselves and their families to smoke and fumes that damage their health and kill nearly two million people a year. More than 95 percent of these people are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia.

The good news?

According to the Managing Director of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI), Evelyn Oputu, total investments in renewable energy in Africa rose from $750 million in 2004 to $3.6 billion in 2011. To put this in a global context, worldwide investment in renewable energy has risen from $33 billion in 2004 to $211 billion in 2011.

And the future?

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