The calls for the UAE and the Gulf to engage in green energy development in Africa appear to be getting stronger. Following a recent editorial in the National, Gulf News has just published another clarion call, imploring investment in African renewables.
Written by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister and foreign minister of Nigeria, and Nicholas Stern, the Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, the opinion piece highlights the challenges facing the world due to the threat of climate change.
According to the article, two out of three Africans are without electricity and the continent is in dire need of investment. The authors claim that of the $1.6 trillion invested in energy infrastructure worldwide, 70 per cent of infrastructural investments sustain the use of fossil fuels, with the remainder going to renewable sources. The editorial claims that if investment in green sources could be raised to $1 trillion per year by 2030, annual carbon-dioxide emissions would fall to approximately what the US emits in a single year.
The report goes on to claim that green technology is becoming more efficient, claiming that investments are returning 36 per cent more power than the equivalent amount three years previously. The authors then claim that the installation of green energy systems outstripped that of carbon-based systems for the first time in 2013.
According to the authors, many green energy solutions are now considerably cheaper than in the past five years, they claim that solar cells have fallen by 80 per cent. The report goes on to claim that investment in green power is not happening quickly enough and that green energy solutions will provide just 20 per cent of the world’s power by 2030.
The piece finishes off with a call for international investment, governmental support and the involvement of private capital. According to the report, African states have the potential to jump past the problems of the developed world and, with international help, should place green power at the top of their list.