Africa must embrace new technologies to meet rising energy needs

Africa must embrace new technologies to meet rising energy needs


Africa must embrace new technologies to meet rising energy needs

Faltering state-owned utilities and the plummeting cost of renewable energy are making decentralised power solutions increasingly attractive across the continent

SA is facing the return of rolling power blackouts. Despite receiving a $4.9bn bailout, the largest in the country’s history, Eskom — SA’s national utility power has once again imposed power cuts due to unforeseen breakdowns at its coal plants.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 600-million people, almost 60% of the continent’s population, still have no source of modern energy. The problem is starkest in rural areas where access to electricity is less than 25%. Even if national utilities and grids were entirely functional and able to meet demand, connecting them to remote, rural populations is uneconomical. Full cost of connecting residential customers (typically about $2,000) is significantly higher for rural areas and too expensive for most households.

At the same time, investment into decentralised power is growing, with for example, 400 mini-grids currently planned across the continent.

To advocates, mini-grids offer an ideal solution to Africa’s energy gap, but there are barriers to deploying them at scale. Many countries in Africa still lack specific policies for mini-grids in their national electrification plans, which makes planning difficult for private developers.

Grids will remain important but Africa must embrace new technologies into its future energy system. This future includes smart metering, storage and distributed generation, which will play an increasingly important role in the continent’s energy distribution mix. They may not be a silver bullet for Africa’s energy gap, but they are certainly helping to change the future of energy access.

Read more: Business Day


As Kremlin scrambles for Africa, Moscow university eyes soft powerAs the Kremlin seeks to boost ties with Africa, a Moscow university that was a training ground for the continent's elite during the Cold War is once again working to bolster Russia's soft power. The Kremlin's support of our Revolutionary leaders during the wars of independence is understated.

Nine major economic issues weighing South Africa downMomentum Investments said that political will and faster growth is needed to escape South Africa’s fiscal plight. Noted. It is scary how close we are to mass job losses in government. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Prince Harry hints at wanting to move to AfricaHarry fell in love with Cape Town on their visit and said it would make the perfect place for the couple and their son to base themselves. After staying in Africa for a year he tells us he founded Africa🚮🚮 Eish...too much royalty here already.

43 community radio stations across South Africa face closure | Cape ArgusMore than 40 community radio stations nationwide face a shut down because of a lack of licences, funding and spiralling debt. TheCapeArgus TheCapeArgus Mebbe the internet destroyed the community radio star

South Africa experiences a decline in tourismThe number of tourists from most of the top 10 countries visiting SA declined in August compared to a year ago. You think people are gonna tour a country filled with darkness 🤨 New dawn I could have told you that. I'm at the 'sharp end of tourism'. Tourism has become very quiet, compared to previous years.. crime, uncertainty about safety, xenophobia, stupid comments by politicians, stupid birth certificate rules ( now remedied, but too late) all play a part!

Africa needs busy engineers not just busy lawyers | IOL NewsIt's hard for a country to progress when its busiest professionals are lawyers and politicians, not engineers. SA have way to many politicians, lawyers and spokespersons.

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News


22 October 2019, Tuesday News

Previous news

Coty explores sale of professional beauty unit

Next news

Baleka Mbete pleads ignorance about government controversies, and blames crime on colonialists