African Energy: A crucial and changing market

The transformation in the continent’s energy picture is underpinned by changes in the way energy is transmitted and traded. In many parts of the continent off-grid solutions have come to the fore. Renewables are gaining fresh momentum on the back of declining prices for wind and solar technologies. Renewable solutions have been made feasible with the provision of additional support from multilateral funding sources, such as the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme.

In many African countries a significant minority of rural dwellers will for the foreseeable future get their electricity from domestic solar panels and autonomous local generation and distribution networks, rather than from a national grid. And the development of small-scale solar, hydro or wind generation may actually boost the feasibility of such local networks.

Decentralisation emerges as a prominent theme. The energy access landscape is likely to change in coming years, especially in rural areas. Decentralised systems are likely to provide the most cost-effective solutions for boosting access, particularly in a continent where the average difference between urban and rural electrification rates is more than 40%.

Full article: African Business