Renewable Energy: Lighting up the Dark Continent

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The African continent is hard at work, shaking its reputation as the Dark Continent, with more than 640 million people without access to affordable, reliable electricity – the question is, how do we reduce this deficit of power and improve the electrification rate?

Trends are moving away from large, centralized power generation, with long transmission lines, too much more end-user focused solutions with distributed generation close to the communities at the load centres where power is required… that Solar PV mini-grids, those types of solutions.

Colin King, Principal: Resource and Project Finance, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

We think those are going to be really the game-changer going forward and, we think that can be rolled out quite effectively and, quite cheaply.

Colin King, Principal: Resource and Project Finance, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

There certainly is an abundance of opportunities in the energy market.

Energy creates opportunity = helps with education, helps with development. So, it addresses not just the energy need but the whole socio-economic upliftment.

Colin King, Principal: Resource and Project Finance, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

To help alleviate the power crunch and increase the electrification rate, international developers are exploring ways to link payment mechanisms (such as prepaid pay-as-required power) to afford poorer communities access to cost-effective, sustainable power.

If you look at our South African power grid (relative to the global trend) and, the way it was actually designed and built… one can project that the days of… centralised distribution is a ‘sunset industry.’

Bhavtik Vallabhjee, Head: Power, Utilities and Infrastructure, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

Some African countries are already at grid parity – with the generation of power from solar or renewable energy compared coal-fired power generation, being more affordable than it has ever been before.

The future of energy on the continent… is certainly a green and clean theme, without any hesitation.

Bhavtik Vallabhjee, Head: Power, Utilities and Infrastructure, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

For more detail, watch the video below. Bhavtik Vallabhjee (Head: Power, Utilities and Infrastructure, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking) in discussion with Colin King (Principal: Resource and Project Finance, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking) about the development of South Africa’s renewable energy rescue plan and, the business opportunities that rest at the doorstep of Mozambique’s gas industry.