Africa: ‘Clean energy solutions are woefully underfunded today’

Excerpt from theafricareport.com

When the power goes out in South Africa’s platinum mines—as it frequently does—emergency-response plans are activated to evacuate miners from the depths. And for every dark day in the mines, people above ground also suffer: businesses shutter their doors, refrigerators stop humming, health clinics go dark, access to financing gets tighter—all as the country’s power system struggles with ageing coal-fired power stations and rapidly rising energy demand.

The problem is not South Africa’s alone. Limited access to clean and reliable electricity afflicts hundreds of millions of people and businesses across the continent, and unfortunately, this number is growing by the day.

Since Covid-19 struck, 15 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa, who had recently gained access to basic electricity, can no longer afford it. Globally, four-in-five people without access to electricity now live in sub-Saharan Africa.

This energy poverty affects economic growth and fuels poverty and environmental destruction. It means that farmers must endure without access to irrigated water during droughts, mechanised agriculture for improved productivity, or even access to markets for their crops.