Up from just 5% in 2013, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says renewable energies could meet 22% of Africa’s energy needs by 2030. With favorable irradiation across the continent, cumulative solar PV capacity has the potential to reach 55 GW.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) around 600 million people are still without access to electricity in Africa. However, the continent’s economy is growing and, with it, energy demands are increasing. In a new report, Africa 2030: Roadmap for a renewable energy future, IRENA calculates that 50% more energy will be needed in 2030, compared to today, while electricity needs may triple.

While current energy needs are met via traditional biomass (which is said to account for around half of energy supply), and fossil fuels (coal and natural gas, around 14% each, and oil, around 22%), IRENA states there are huge opportunities available for renewables to step up to the energy demand challenge, particularly in light of Africa’s abundant natural resources, combined with decreasing technology costs, and record low electricity prices for solar and wind.

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