Renewable energy has the potential to meet close to a quarter of Africa's demand by 2030, representing a rise of 17 percent compared to 2013, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency's Monday report.
The report argues that the rich renewable sources of the region can be utilized in meeting 22 percent of the continent's energy demand by 2030 amid falling renewable energy technology costs.
"Developing these projects is more cost-effective than ever before, with solar and wind projects across Africa now producing record-low electricity prices," the report adds.
About 50 percent of the energy would be supplied through biomass-based heat applications, the report says and estimates that "a shift to modern renewable energy cooking solutions would reduce the use of traditional cooking stoves by more than 60 percent, saving $20 billion to $30 billion annually by 2030 through the reduction of health complications from poor indoor air quality."
The report sets out 14 recommendations toward the renewable goal including enabling policies and a regulatory framework to catalyze investment, adopting investment promotion measures, and off-grid renewable energy solutions to increase energy access and reduce poverty.
“Tapping into renewable energy resources is the only way African nations can fuel economic growth, maximize socio-economic development and enhance energy security with limited environmental impact,” the agency's Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said.
“The technologies are available, reliable and increasingly cost-competitive. The onus is now on Africa’s governments to create conditions to accelerate deployment, paving the way for Africa’s unfettered, sustainable development,” Amin added.
By Zeynep Beyza Karabay