Africa’s potential in terms of renewable energies is estimated at 310 Giga-Watts (GW), according to Hatem Fellah, Principal Agronomist at the African Development Bank (ADB) speaking in Dakar on Dakar.
"Africa's potential for renewable energy is estimated at 310 GW. In order to support the harnessing of such potential, the AfDB has initiated several projects including the Fund for Sustainable Energy in Africa (SEFA) and the Strategic Climate Fund”, Fellah said.
He was speaking at the opening of a subregional exchange meeting on domestic and renewable energies in the Sahel region, organized by the Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) within the framework of the Regional Program for Building Resilience to Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS).
Opening the three-day workshop, Cheikh Dieng, the permanent secretary of the ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) said that it is no longer a secret, without energy services, sustainable development goals cannot be reached.
“For the majority of countries here, energy consumption is based primarily on biomass, which accounts for about 80 percent of all energy consumed”, Dieng said, noting that the “high cost of fossil fuels in our space requires us to harness all our available energy resources”.
He added: “Therefore, it is irrational to claim to meet the energy needs of our rural and urban populations only through conventional energies with biomass remaining the main source of energy. It is more than imperative to turn to sources commonly called renewable energies. These energies have three important assets namely their omnipresence, their non-polluting nature and their renewable character.
The Dakar meeting should enable participants to identify the synergies and possibility for cooperation in the domestic and renewable energies sub-sector and to highlight the main challenges in order to reach relevant and coherent sub-regional policy in the sub-sector.