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Africa will need investments of $190 billion each year between 2026 and 2030 to meet its energy demand, according to an official from the operator of Nigeria’s biggest thermal power plant.
“Achieving Africa’s energy and climate goals means more than doubling energy investment this decade. This would take it over $190bn each year from 2026 to 2030, with two-thirds going to clean energy,” Seyi Sobogun, head of capital projects at Nigeria’s Egbin Power Plc, said at an energy event in Senegal, citing findings from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In the two decades between 2000 and 2019, Africa received a total of $109 billion in public commitments in the energy sector, with nearly $60 billion of that committed to renewables, Sobogun said, as carried by Nigerian outlet Leadership.
Egbin Power operates one of the largest thermal power plants in Sub-Saharan Africa and contributes over 16 percent of the total electricity generated to the Nigerian National Grid, the company where Sobogun works says on its website.
Africa will continue to rely on natural gas for electricity generation and is expected to see the share of renewable power generation rising to 59 percent by 2030 from 21 percent in 2020, Sobogun said.
However, to have 100-percent renewable power generation by 2050, the continent would need around $2.64 trillion in investment, roughly the size of its GDP, he added.
The energy crisis highlights the urgency to invest in cleaner and cheaper energy in Africa, where the majority of people without access to electricity worldwide live, the IEA said in its Africa Energy Outlook 2022 in June.
“Electricity is the backbone of Africa’s new energy systems, powered increasingly by renewables. Africa is home to 60% of the best solar resources globally, yet only 1% of installed solar PV capacity. Solar PV – already the cheapest source of power in many parts of Africa – outcompetes all sources continent-wide by 2030,” the IEA said in the report.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com