Africa’s electricity unlikely to go green this decade

A new study led by researchers at the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment predicts that total electricity generation across the African continent will double by 2030, with fossil fuels continuing to dominate the energy mix – posing potential risk to global climate change commitments.

The study, published in Nature Energy, uses a state-of-the art machine-learning technique to analyse the pipeline of over 2,500 currently planned power plants and their chances of being successfully commissioned. It shows that the share of non-hydro renewables in African electricity generation is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, although this varies by region.

‘There is a prominent narrative in the energy planning community that the continent will be able to take advantage of its vast renewable energy resources and rapidly decreasing clean technology prices to leapfrog to renewables by 2030 – but our analysis shows that overall it is not currently positioned to do so’, says lead author Galina Alova.

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