The President of Kenya, William Ruto, highlighted this Monday, in Nairobi, the potential of Africa’s renewable resources that can supply all of the continent’s energy needs.
“The continent has enough potential to be fully self-sufficient with the combination of wind, solar, geothermal and sustainable energy, biomass and hydroelectric energy”, said the President at the opening of the plenary session of the ministerial segment of the African Climate Summit, which he hosts.
Indeed, added the Kenyan President, Africa can be a green industrial hub that helps other regions achieve their net zero emissions strategies by 2050.
Looking at the light, present almost every year, such availability makes Africa’s solar potential particularly unique, perfectly suited to industrial energy needs – something it finds more challenging in temperate climates.
Moreover, restoring and expanding Africa’s natural resources and carbon sinks is not just an environmental imperative, but an unparalleled economic gold mine.
“They have the potential to absorb millions of tons of CO2 annually, which should translate into billions of dollars, better livelihoods and millions of opportunities across the continent”, William Ruto envisaged, underlining that such action also contributes to the protection of biodiversity.
To him, Africa’s renewable energy resources are not just an environmental need, but an ultimate catalyst for radical socio-economic prosperity.
According to the president, they can feed development, boost economic growth, create jobs and lift millions of people out of energy poverty – all while reducing our carbon footprint, continentally and globally.
Kenya National Network
As an example, he brings his country as a good example of what is possible, having a national grid that currently operates at 3 GigaWatts, 92% of which is renewable energy.
The ambition is audacious, but achievable, said the Kenyan statesman, further explaining that 100% renewable by 2030 and a 100 GigaWatt network, fully renewable by 2040 is possible.
Thus, to bridge the investment gap in order to allow the continent to meet its energy needs, the Head of State advocates creating demand on a sufficient scale to provide incentives for adequate private investment in developed energy infrastructure.
Adding value to minerals
In front of a large audience, the President of Kenya demonstrated other Geoeconomic opportunities for Africa.
Highlighting Africa’s important intervention in the extraction of minerals, he recalls that much of it needs the addition of greater value – smelting, refining, assembly and even the production of electric vehicles (EV), as happens in other geographies.
Still based on calculations to aggregate the various perspectives, it predicts that by 2025, it is estimated that the mining of essential minerals for batteries, such as nickel, lithium and cobalt, will generate around 11 billion dollars in value.
However, he adds, if the next step is taken and value-added activities are involved, such as refining these minerals into industrial quality metals, this value could quadruple, to US$50 billion.
He then clarified that considering the end-to-end value chain of electric vehicles, including battery and all other components, the market value skyrockets to an astonishing seven billion dollars, adding that these numbers demonstrate clearly that Africa can no longer afford a short-term minimalist, raw materials-based approach.
Source: Angola Press News Agency