It’s time to make energy poverty a thing of the past in Africa Renewable energy

Nearly 800 million people around the world live without access to electricity, about 600 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. This is an obvious injustice in a world of deepening inequality between the poor and the needy. Thanks to cheap renewable energy and green investments following the epidemic, we can create a history of energy poverty in the next decade. Access to universal energy is possible by 2030, but we need to start achieving great success: soon. Therefore, the International Energy Agency (IEA): The European Union invites other partners to join us in putting energy at the heart of our cooperation with Africa.

Lack of electricity interferes with aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted. Electricity strengthens our economy. We need it in schools, offices, hospitals, where it now stores rescue vaccines. Industrial access to electricity needs to be increased so that sub-Saharan African families can claim the same standard of living as families in other parts of the world.

Technological advances և An unprecedented drop in the cost of renewables can now supply mankind with the cheapest electricity ever seen. Over the past 20 years, the global expansion of access to electricity has been largely due to coal-fired power plants. But investing in coal no longer makes sense. Africa is a premium place in the world to use solar energy, it already shows that a cleaner way is possible.

From 2014 to 2019, 20 million people in Africa received electricity for the first time every year, and most of the growing demand is met by more competitive solar hydroelectric power plants. Utilizing these abundant energy sources on the African continent can help develop local jobs and avoid costly import bills.

Unfortunately, despite technological advances, the world is not on track to meet our global commitment to universal energy access by 2030. The COVID-19 crisis has caused a significant setback. Without action, this can lead to a negative local trend.

Last year, the number of people without electricity in sub-Saharan Africa increased for the first time in seven years. Restrictions on the epidemic are holding back homes, businesses, schools and hospitals, and the global economic downturn has severely limited African budgets. This severely limited the ability of African governments to finance clean energy investments, leading to millions of people being pushed into extreme poverty where they could no longer afford basic electricity services.

Barriers to deploying other renewable energy technologies in Africa include the initial cost of installing them. Solar wind farms are activated by the advantage of free energy supply – wind. But in developing economies, especially in rural communities, the initial costs of installing mini-networks or stand-alone home solar systems are enormous given the limited financial resources of those communities.

In addition, companies trying to create new renewable projects are not always able to guarantee a stable return on the transaction, they face difficulties in attracting investors. In general, emerging economies suffer from much higher borrowing costs than their leaders in leading economies, adding to any additional barriers to any renewable program. These difficulties are now exacerbated by the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, which has lasted much longer in Africa and beyond.

The good news is that there are solutions to these challenges. These include innovative paid business models to spread start-up costs, improved policies; financing costs for renewable energy projects.

All governments, and relevant international organizations, must urgently reaffirm our commitment to eradicating energy poverty by 2030, including in the forthcoming phase of the UN High Level Energy Dialogue. And we must support that commitment with stronger action.

The EU Գ WIPO is working together to make access to clean energy part of the international effort to reduce zero emissions. This way we can overcome unequal energy availability without blocking the most harmful fossil fuel emissions. The IEA, like the European Commission, through its Green Energy Initiative, is making clean energy access a cornerstone of our cooperation with African governments.

We will work to increase the number of people, businesses and industries in Africa with affordable, modern, sustainable energy services. In 2021, the European Commission’s Green Energy Initiative enters a new phase. Once deployed, grants, technical assistance, other financial instruments will support investments in renewable energy, and energy efficiency across Africa.

Over the next seven years, 30 percent of the international budget for international cooperation will be spent on combating climate change. But state funding alone is not enough. Private sector investment will be strong, and many European companies are ready to intervene. But if we are to make energy poverty in Africa a thing of the past, we need the whole world to work together to end overseas funding. coal energy, accelerate cooperation in the expansion of clean electricity in Africa և develop financial support for developed economies.

Let’s be clear that access to clean energy goes beyond climate action. Renewable energy is a good business մատչելի an affordable way to generate electricity. Investing in clean energy is a complete strategy for economic development. Therefore, we hope that other leading economies and organizations will take concrete steps with us to make history of energy poverty in the next decade.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al Jazeera.

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