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Energy Transition in Africa

Thokozani Simelane, Mohamed Abdel-Rahman

Publication Year: 2012

The worldís demand for energy coupled with a decreasing stock and supply of fossil fuels is propelling the transition to renewable sources of energy. This global movement presents many opportunities and challenges to Africa. If Africa can identify the opportunities and start to position itself, with its abundant sources of renewable energy, it stands a chance of being a global player in the production and supply of renewable energy. Achieving this will, however, require a combination of effective planning and investment on infrastructure, skills and technology. In determining how this should be done, this publication has brought together some of Africaís leading experts in the field. The book sets out a foundation for Africaís role in harnessing renewable energy by highlighting an ideal mix of investment, resource use, skills development and infrastructure management which the authors believe Africa needs in order to migrate successfully to a green economy that is supported by renewable energy. In policy terms, a pan-African approach is required to drive African policy on renewable energy that will cater for Africaís economies. This should also demonstrate a political will to carry the policy through and to establish an environment that encourages private investment as well as providing access to carbon credit finances. In this new era of what has been termed ëthe second scramble for Africaí, the authorsí views on Africaís potential to supply renewable energy present hope that Africa can lead in the supply of renewable energy.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

The prevailing period of energy transition provides a myriad development opportunities for Africa. To capitalise on the opportunities presented, Africa needs to understand its strengths and capabilities of the role it is going to play in a global economy driven by renewable energy sources. Africa has the advantage of migrating to renewable...

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pp. ix-x

The world’s energy consumption and demand is increasing exponentially. In 2007, the world consumed an estimated 18 trillion kWh of generated energy. By 2030, the demand for energy will have increased to 31 trillion kWh, of which an estimated 20 trillion will be generated from renewable sources. Of critical concern is that...

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pp. xi

This book came as a suggestion from Mr Jurgen Knop who suggested that there is a need to develop a route for Africa’s transition to renewable energy. His main observation was that Africa has the potential to lead the world in the production and supply of renewable energy...

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About the Editors

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pp. xii

Dr Simelane holds a PhD in Biodiversity Management, and is currently finalising his doctorate in Technology in Industrial Engineering – specialising in complex systems analysis. He is currently head of the Science and Technology Unit at the Africa Institute of South Africa. He is a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on...

About the Contributors

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pp. xiii-xiv

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xv-xviii

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pp. xix-xxiv

Whereas the world has generally progressed rapidly in migrating to renewable energy sources, Africa appears to be lagging behind.¹ The reasons for this include insufficient investment, technological barriers, a lack of political will and incorrect policy options.² All these exist despite the fact that Africa is naturally endowed with various...

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1. Energy revolution in Africa and its future potential in supplying energy to the world

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pp. 1-20

The transition to renewable energy is inevitable. Emerging trends have shown the growing need to use the resources we have in abundance, through clean technology, safe nuclear power, sustainably grown biofuels and the energy we harness from wind, water and the sun. Africa has tremendous untapped renewable energy...

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2. Africa’s nuclear power potential. Its rise, recession, opportunities and constraints

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pp. 21-54

Africa’s lack of capacity to benefit from its vast uranium resources is usually attributed to regional poverty and the fact that providing nuclear power is extremely expensive.¹ However, a closer examination of Africa’s human development reveals considerable social and economic dynamics that relentlessly undermine the...

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3. State of energy infrastructure in Africa. How much investment is needed to migrate to renewable energy?

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pp. 55-100

Africa is the second largest continent with an area of 30 million km2, representing 15 per cent of the Earth’s area, 2 per cent of its industrial capacity, 15 per cent of its average per capita income, and 3 per cent of its energy consumption.¹ As of 2006, less than 15 per cent of Africa’s population had access to electricity, which, in...

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4. Human capital requirements for sustainable renewable energy production

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pp. 101-122

Human resource development (HRD) refers to both formal and informal activities that will enhance the ability of individuals to reach their full potential in a particular discipline. By enhancing the skills, knowledge and abilities of individuals, HRD will improve the productivity of people in their areas of expertise – whether these are...

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5. Investment requirements for Africa to lead in renewable energy production and distribution

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pp. 123-142

Africa possesses significant renewable energy potential. The challenge is how to provide financing frameworks that enable exploitation of these resources in an economical, social and sustainable manner. Renewable technologies have high upfront costs compared to conventional energy technologies. Consequently, renewable energy...

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6. Africa’s technology options for renewable energy production and distribution

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pp. 143-171

Energy is a key driver of economic and social development. Modern energy sources light homes, schools, hospitals, businesses and streets. They also help to irrigate crops, preserve and cook food, power industries and commerce and they further enable us to communicate and generally reduce the burden of everyday...

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7. Conclusion and Recommendations

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pp. 173-174

It appears as if a new scramble for Africa has begun. This time it is not for its mineral resources but for its sun, wind and fertile land. Unfortunately, despite all its natural wealth, Africa still lags behind in developing and accessing clean renewable energy. The continent still relies on biomass for its energy. This source of...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780798303101
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798302944

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2012