With massive power shortfalls across the continent, Africa must look to increased generation, alternative energy and better grid management for economic growth.
Electricity consumption and economic development are closely linked; growth will not happen without investing in the power sector. Currently 585-million people lack reliable access to electricity and, by 2040, sub-Saharan Africa will consume nearly 1 600 terawatt hours.
Sub-Saharan Africa is incredibly rich in potential power-generation capacity. There is a staggering 10 terawatts of potential capacity or more, but these resources are largely under-developed. An additional $450-billion in power-sector capital investment is needed to cut power outages in half and achieve universal energy access in urban areas by 2040, according to the IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook report.
Achieving universal access in a sustainable way is the key to driving Africa’s economic growth, say the experts.
Economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa hinges critically on fixing the energy sector,” says IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. “The payoff can be huge; with each additional dollar invested in the power sector boosting the overall economy by $15.”
To discuss the challenges and debate solutions, over 3000+ industry professionals from across Africa and around the world will meet at the Power-Gen & DistribuTech Africa conference and exhibition from 19 to 21 July at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Under the theme “Creating Power for Sustainable Growth”, the event will focus on renewable energy, sustainable power generation and distribution, pan-African power provision and smarter power infrastructure management.