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Africa Should Use the Next Decade to Go Green

Renewable energy is expected to account for less than 10% of Africa’s electricity generation by 2030, showing huge investment is needed to unlock the continent’s wind and solar power potential, researchers said on Monday. Drastic policy change and investment will also be needed if the notion of Africa “leapfrogging to renewables” is plausible, according to the authors of a new study by the University of Oxford, published in the academic journal Nature Energy. Using machine-learning techniques to analyse more than 2,500 power plants in 54 African countries, the article showed non-hydro renewable energy, such as geothermal, solar and wind energy, make up just 3% of Africa’s power supply. Sub-Saharan Africa currently produces less than 4% of global emissions, according to regional officials. Funding the transition to clean energy is not a possibility for many countries, with the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think-tank, estimating that one in five African countries do not have enough revenue to cover state costs.