Many African states have committed themselves to realising milestone development goals in the near future.
Development is measured by using an array of indicators, these include having clean tap water, tar roads, and electricity amongst other things.
When a vast majority of a country’s population has unhindered access to these amenities, it can be said that development is on an upward trajectory.
The move towards development presents numerous opportunities for new technologies and renewable energy to be introduced in these countries.
For instance, there are still many communities without electricity and electric power. An article in the Economist reports that in 2007 Africa generated only 4% of global electricity, 5 years later and there has not been much of a change. The silver lining in this very dark cloud is that there is opportunity to move away from conventional methods of electricity generation to renewable energy.
There is a great demand for electricity in Africa, even the relatively big economies such as South Africa and Nigeria are not able to meet this demand.
This is evident in the power outages and load shedding exercises implemented in recent times by South Africa because demand far exceeds supply. This has also had negative effects on neighbouring countries which import electricity from South Africa, in that their import quotas were renegotiated so as to ease the load on South Africa.
The situation described should be the primary motivator for the introduction of renewable energies, especially in countries that import electricity.
Renewable energy can be sourced from various media such as wind, rain, and solar radiation. These are free resources that may yield good results when exploited in a responsible manner, unlike the heavy reliance on coal (as does South Africa) in energy production.
Development should also measure a country’s use and introduction of new technologies and alternative energy designed to ease the burden on the natural environment.
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