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Home » Africa Looks to Renewables to Curb Warming, Boost Economies

Africa Looks to Renewables to Curb Warming, Boost Economies

Africa Looks to Renewables to Curb Warming, Boost Economies

Renewable energy's potential across the African continent remains largely untapped, according to a new report by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — From wind farms across the African coastline to geothermal projects in the east African rift valley, a new United Nations climate report on Monday brought the continent’s vast clean energy potential into the spotlight. If realized, these renewable energy projects could blunt the harshest global warming effects, power the continent’s projected economic development and lift millions out of poverty, the report said.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report comes at a time when Africa’s renewable energy business is already booming. Many African nations are intensifying efforts to embrace alternative renewable energy pathways and shift away from fossil fuel dependency, with countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa taking the lead on large-scale clean energy adoption.

Yet Africa has attracted just 2% — $60 billion — of the $2.8 trillion invested in renewables worldwide in the last two decades and accounts for only 3% of the world’s current renewable energy capacity. Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) or 2C (3.6F), in line with the 2016 Paris climate agreement, will involve even greater energy system transformation, the U.N. report said.

That means more renewable energy intiatives, such as Kenya's Lake Turkana Wind Power, launched in 2019 some 600km (372 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi and making up 18% of the country's energy production, are needed. Its CEO, Phylip Leferink, said large projects like these can be replicated, but it remains logistically challenging.


Renewable energy's potential across the African continent remains largely untapped, according to a new report by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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