Africa Outlook: Here Comes the Sun: The Case for Solar Energy in Angola

The International Renewable Energy Agency notes in its Africa 2030 report that renewable energy on the continent has the potential to quadruple to 22 percent. Abundant solar energy potential – as much as 10 terawatts – and substantial wind resources in Africa’s eastern, northern and southern regions, have the potential for rapid development and scalability. Renewable energy may provide up to one quarter of electricity in Africa by 2040.

It may seem ironic that Angola, Africa’s second largest oil producer, is committed to pursuing renewable energy. The reasons go beyond the drop in oil prices or the need for diversification of the country’s economy. It’s a question of meeting basic human needs. More than 13 million Angolans, or about 26 percent of the population, have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Rural areas, especially those in the rural south of the country, have no access to a grid. Cities and other areas which do have electricity can experience blackouts.

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