Saturday, September 23, 2023
NewsAfrica's ocean energy could meet 400% of global demand, report

Africa’s ocean energy could meet 400% of global demand, report

Renewable ocean energy produced around Africa has the potential to meet up to 400 percent of the world’s current energy demands, a new report reveals.

Considered one of the climate-smart energy solutions to ensure zero emissions, ocean energy is a vast resource that remains largely untapped in Africa.

According to the report, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the ocean surrounding Africa has the potential to “generate between 100 and 400 percent” of current global energy needs.

Titled “Africa Environment Outlook for Business,” the report provides insights into how African businesses can tap into the renewable energy sector, potentially bolstering the continent’s economy and green agenda. It outlines how ocean energy around the continent could meet up to four times current worldwide energy demand.

However, the report mentions only the wave energy initiative in Ghana and floating solar photovoltaic in Mauritius as examples out of 54 countries on the continent. Launched last Thursday, August 17, 2023, in Addis Ababa as a side event of the 19th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), the report mentions successful beginnings as well as opportunities for growth in green energy solutions.

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If utilised properly, the potential of renewable energy solutions for Africa will increase the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 6.4 percent, just from 2021 to 2050, the report predicts. With proper actions to combat challenges like overfishing, pollution, and climate change, the blue economy has the potential to generate USD 576 billion while creating 127 million jobs in the coming forty years.

The annual funding gap of USD 213.4 billion in climate funding remains a challenge for Africa; nevertheless, the report claims that it brings only opportunities for innovative investors on the continent as they can make an impact by building Africa’s climate resilience.

The outlook was launched in the presence of Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, the current president of AMCEN Fitsum Assefa (PhD), Ethiopian Minister for Planning and Development, and several other environmental ministers from across the continent.

With a high concentration of geothermal power in Eastern African countries, Ethiopia is endowed with high potential for generating geothermal energy. The country is also mentioned as one of the few with high potential for generating hydro and wind power. Ethiopia is one of the countries at the forefront of utilising hydropower potential, which the report says “is currently the largest renewable electricity source in Africa.”

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