Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Light up Africa

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), declared “Viable options exist to power Africa using mini-grid and of-grid solar, wind, hydro, and biomass technologies. Projects that use solar panels or small-scale hydro power to provide schools and villages with power demonstrate what is possible, but the challenge is in scaling up these solutions to meet demands across the continent.”

Across Africa most people rely on traditional fuels such as wood, biomass, or charcoal for cooking. Smoke from these stoves not only threatens public health, but also contributes to climate change as it contains the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

Team Leader on Climate Change in the UNEP Regional Office for Africa, Emily Massawa, said: “Poverty eradication is Africa’s overriding priority, with people’s access to clean energy access at the centre of concern. Renewable power is found in abundance on the continent. Large areas of the African continent are ideal for solar and wind installations, and geothermal energy is already exploited in some areas. Use of these renewable and indigenous resources mean the continent would be able to have more secure and clean energy supplies, that will also assist in breaking the cycle of high-carbon development that has led to the world being threatened by accelerating climate change.”

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