Two out of every three people in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity, according to the United States government’s Power Africa statistics. It’s a daunting problem to solve, but there is a silver lining: How quickly that number is going to drop as renewable energy – particularly solar – becomes more prevalent and accessible on the continent.
The International Renewable Energy Agency released a report in early October called “Africa 2030”, which highlighted some of the incredible growth the continent will see in the coming decade and a half. Renewable energy can more than quadruple by 2030 to 22%, compared to today’s level of about 5%, the report found.
According to McKinsey & Company’s Brighter Africa Report released earlier this year, with solar potential included, there is ten terawatts of energy potential on the continent. A quarter of the electricity is predicted to come from renewable energy by 2040.
Experts expect that Africa will go through a competitive bidding process to develop these operations, and governments in Africa are making ambitious renewable energy targets to match.