Global law firm Hogan Lovells Wedmesday published a new report, â€œAfrica and Renewables: Wholesale Change or Short term surge?â€ which launches at the African Energy Forum in Mauritius.
Compiled with input from the firmâ€™s partners and many of its clients, spanning infrastructure, energy, finance, and private equity, the report highlights the challenges posed by producing and accessing renewable energy in Africa, and how these can be overcome to achieve potential and scale.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, approximately one-third of the population (approximately 600 million people) has no access to electricity, with demand outstripping supply due to increasing life expectancy driven by greater access to healthcare, increased urbanisation, and technological advances. The estimated investment needed is approximately $50 billion per year.
The report also highlights the potential for renewable energy production to revolutionise access to energy throughout the continent. Africa has vast potential to tap into its natural abundance of hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources, while the technological and financial hurdles to achieve major energy breakthroughs are increasingly surmountable.
Commenting the report, Dubai-based ENRG partner and co-author Sohail Barkatali, and member of Hogan Lovells Africa practice, commented:
â€œIt is important to understand the unique challenges facing the African energy market, challenges like the physical geography of the continent and the rapid pace of change in its urban landscape. But it is also important to understand that this is a unique time for opportunity in African energy â€“ creative financing, technological advances, and scalability in renewable energy sources are creating opportunity the likes of which we have never seen before. Itâ€™s an exciting time to be involved in the African energy market.â€
The report is the first in a planned series of â€œAfrican Powerâ€ thought leadership reports, in which Hogan Lovells will tap into its African and global resources to examine the barriers to power development across the continent and real life success stories and innovative solutions breaking down these barriers, which could be tested and further deployed across the continent where priorities remain dominated by power and transport (road, rail and port infrastructure), telecommunications and water and sanitation projects; with commodity extraction still acting as a major catalyst for some of the largest infrastructure developments in Africa.
It has been published to coincide with the 2018 African Energy Forum, an event that brings together senior decision-makers active in Africa’s energy sector to form partnerships, identify opportunities and collectively move the industry forward, and which takes place from 19-22 June in Mauritius.