By 2030, Africa must provide power to 90 million people yearly and wean 130 million people off of polluting cooking fuels. While some nations, like Kenya, are ahead in the switch to green energy, others are still far behind, according to Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, speaking at the Green Energy Conference in Nairobi.
He said that up until 2040, the continent will need an estimated $100 billion yearly to make a successful transition. According to him, Kenya has made enormous strides in recent years to expand its clean and green energy capacity, and it is currently at the forefront of the development of renewable energy, notably geothermal and wind power.
“Kenya has slowly but surely been working around this challenge. Following increased investment in the sector, about 87 percent of the power generated in the country now comes from renewable energy sources,” he said.
The region can develop into a clean energy superpower by combining its energy networks and emphasizing renewable energy sources, he continued, avoiding the trap of outdated, centralized fossil fuel infrastructure that exacerbates the climate catastrophe.
Kenya has launched a daring green development plan with the goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2030. According to Chirchir, this comprehensive strategy also promotes green transportation, eco-friendly urbanization, sustainable agriculture, and green industry. Kenya’s grid is currently 92% renewable.
Kenya was included in a list of nations last month that would share Sh12.5 billion ($88.9 million) in funding for renewable energy projects from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The installation of 10 million on-grid and off-grid connections for an estimated 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa will be funded by the billions to be released through the Power Africa program for East and Central Africa.
The choice to bring the Clean Energy Conference to Africa, according to Stephen Kuria, chairman of the conference and a representative of the Australia Africa Energy and Minerals Institute (AAEMI), demonstrates the enormous advancements the continent has achieved in the field of clean energy.
“Mining has anchored the energy sector, and as we transition into clean energy, it will prove even more critical. This conference will catalyze African-led conversations focused on environmental stewardship, innovation, and revenue generation across various sectors,” he said.
The meeting supported a recent study titled “Just Transition: A Climate, Energy, and Development Vision for Africa,” which was written by a group of independent climate and energy experts and emphasized the continent’s ability to move away from fossil fuel dependence.
The research issues a warning against the fatal fixation of the Global North with unclean energy, which has left Africans vulnerable to the effects of the climate catastrophe.
The study emphasizes the need for immediate action to solve persistent issues including energy poverty, regional conflict, economic instability, and patriarchal oppression. It does this by drawing on Africa’s unique economies, resources, ecosystems, and cultures.
The research stresses the necessity of a transition away from community-based agroecological systems that support food sovereignty, climate resilience, and stable livelihoods and toward export-oriented, cash-crop agriculture.
It also urges the creation of a Pan-African industrial policy with an emphasis on the growth of internal markets, the development of African resources, and the creation of jobs for Africans.
In 2022, 970 million people lacked access to clean energy for cooking, and at least 600 million people did not have access to electricity.