The access to energy is a strategic priority in all regions of the world. Without energy, countries cannot power their economies.
Unfortunately, the current situation is not very positive. In fact, about 1.2 billion people in the world still experience energy poverty with an 80% concentration in rural areas. The lack of access to reliable forms of energy is an obstacle to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. and therefore a brake on harmonious human and economic development.
What is the current situation in Africa?
Unfortunately, some regions of the country, especially sub-Saharan areas, are struggling to access to reliable energy and experience at least 20 hours of power outages a month as stated by the World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the International Student Energy Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on June 10, 2015.
What hinders sub-Saharan Africa from a full access to reliable energy? There are many critical factors which are holding Africa back. Inadequate infrastructure remains a major obstacle towards Africa achieving its full economic growth potential, followed by the lack appropriate and comprehensive institutional framework. Limited financing also hampers the development of many regions. The projects in the renewable energy sector require massive investments, whose value varies between $ 33.4 billion to $ 63 billion. The situation in Africa is different and in the last 10 years, the average annual spending has not exceeded $ 12 billion. Outdated business model is another aspect to take into account together with the high cost of renewable energy technology.
However, the situation in North Africa appears much more promising and dynamic. Large investments in renewable energy projects have been able to mobilize the sector in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt. Solar energy is, in fact, an obvious solution for the 600 million Africans living without electricity.
Solar energy is a great emerging opportunity, with a high potential and great ability to create new business opportunities. Amongst the most auspicious projects, it is possible to consider the huge solar park in the Sahara which could soon export electricity to Europe if the Tunisian government approves the energy company’s request to build it. The 4.5GW mega-project designed by TuNur would lead electricity to Malta, Italy, and France using submarine cables.
It is also expected to complete the construction of Noor Ouarzazate in Morocco – the largest solar plant in the world by the end of this year and for a total cost of $9 billion.
In this scenario, a key role is played by alliances between public bodies and private actors (Public-Private Partnerships). Private organizations can apply their expertise and experience to deliver efficient and cost-effective infrastructure and services. But from the other side transparent and quick political decisions are crucial for the correct management and implementation of a PPP.
Mustapha Bakkoury, chairman of the board of Morocco’s Solar Energy Agency, affirms that “believing that is feasible is not enough”, underlining the attitude of skepticism that still characterizes some governments in some African countries.
Where does Trace Software stand? Exciting initiatives have been made in the renewable energy sector. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
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