In the recent past, there has been an emerging trend in the energy sector all over the world. This trend has seen people shifting from the use of traditional forms of energy sources such as fossil fuels to renewable energy. Africa is at the forefront of this shift in paradigm as renewable energy makes a lot of sense on this continent.
The renewable energy projects in Africa are all aimed at protecting the continent from the volatile energy crises and giving energy access to millions who have no grid connection. These projects are also aimed at improving the livelihoods of the local people. This accessibility factor is because renewable energy is cheaper compared to fossil fuels and can be easily deployed in remote locations.
The continent is well endowed with natural resources. These resources can be properly utilized to provide reliable and consistent energy to previously unpowered regions. Another major advantage that Africa gets from using renewable sources of energy is that there is less impact on the environment hence both humans and nature are safeguarded.
Here are the major renewable energy sources in Africa.
1. Solar energy.
The whole of African continent enjoys excellent solar radiation. Arid areas, which include the famous Sahara and Kalahari deserts, lead the pack. Most of this solar radiation is underutilized hence goes to waste. If proper infrastructure is put in place, this source of energy can be a major game changer in the way the continent produces electricity. This is because it can be used in any part of Africa and is cost efficient. Majority of the solar developments have been used to light up rural and remote regions of the continent which are difficult to accessible by the national grid.
2. Wind energy
Recently, there has been an increased use of wind as a source of energy in Africa. The continent has well shaped coastlines which are the main source of good wind. Tapping the energy from wind can be a major game changer in the expansion of the renewable energy in Africa.
3. Geothermal power
A number of African countries have potential of generating energy from underground sources. Countries located on the Great Rift Valley have initiated projects intended to harness energy from the steam which emanates from underground sources. This has been a major facelift to the energy sector as this geothermal energy source has been added to the national grid of some countries like Kenya.
4. Use of biomass
The use of wastes from biodegradable material can be used as a source of renewable energy. This has seen various developments in Africa embracing this method. Biomass has been used to generate both electricity and fuel in many African nations.