Op-ed: Energy storage will boost Africa’s energy transformation
Africa’s energy storage needs have never been greater. The continent’s fast-growing population, which by 2035 will be adding more people of working age to the global market than everywhere else put together, is creating a surge in demand for power.
The continent finds itself well-placed to use vast renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal and wind power to fill this demand, writes Mamadou Goumble, CEO Energy Businesses, JCG.
Projects such as the Africa Clean Energy Corridor are accelerating the development of renewable energy as fossil fuels decline in usage and popularity. Yet creating a reliable supply of clean energy remains out of reach for many countries, due to weaknesses in existing storage technology.
To unlock this green energy potential, business must invest in innovative new storage technology. JCG, in fact, has already taken action, investing $13 million in Highview Power, a developer of liquid air long-duration energy storage systems. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Currently, energy grids only rely on renewables for 30% of their power supply. This is largely thanks to the intermittent nature of wind and solar. Improved storage would improve this. In fact, poor storage is contributing to an energy deficit estimated to be holding back Africa’s growth by 2 to 4% every year.
This is stifling the creation of jobs, and curbing development in industry, education, healthcare and more. Currently, there are few, if any, utility-scale energy storage projects across Africa which have both flexibility to serve dispersed communities, and the green credentials to fit in with countries’ changing energy demands.
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