Of the 900 million people without electricity access in the world, 565 million (72%) live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 80% of the energy consumed in Sub-Saharan Africa is generated through inefficient combustion of solid biomass - mainly wood or charcoal - for cooking. This is increasing deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, habitat destruction and the loss of nature.
Africa has abundant renewable energy resources, especially solar, that can meet current and projected power demand. The cost of renewable energy has decreased dramatically over the past decade. In addition, financial innovations such as feed-in-tariffs and pay-as-you-go mobile systems have recently increased accessibility, affordability and demand.
Why is it important?
Africa is leading other continents in wood consumption and net loss of forest area, with demand for charcoal and firewood projected to increase from 625 million m3 in 2013 to 800 million m3 per year by 2030.
Africa is also the largest household black carbon emitter in the world, with households accounting for 60-80% of emissions, with implication for climate change and the health of communities. Weak energy policies also undermine Sub-Saharan African countries' ability to tap into their renewable energy potential at the expense of fossil fuels.
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