Renewable Energy in Africa

By ASV Client Relations


Africa has been experiencing rapid economic growth within the last 20 years, with an average GDP growth of 4% in 2020.  This sustained growth, coupled with a fast-growing population – has exponentially increased energy demand. 

While the Oil-rich North Africa countries and South Africa are almost fully electrified, more than 600 million citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to reliable electricity. The bulk of them, 70%, live in rural areas. Most people rely on natural, unprocessed organic fuels such as wood, charcoal, and agricultural waste. If Africa is to achieve its economic ambition of lifting its citizens out of poverty, a reliable and sustainable energy supply is paramount.

Clean, indigenous, and affordable renewable energy solutions offer the continent the chance to achieve its economic, social, and environmental sustainability objectives. Sustainable development, and the use of the continent’s significant renewable energy resources comprising biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind power – have the potential to rapidly ensure that the continent reaches its economic, social, and environmental sustainability potential.

By adopting sustainable and savvy technologies, Africa can fully exploit its substantial renewable energy resources. Hence, the continent has the potential to meet 25% of its sustainable electrification needs by optimising the utilisation of its substantial renewable resources – by  2030.  Furthermore, renewables can additionally provide up to 75% of Africa’s energy mix.


Opportunities and Challenges

Whilst taking note of these pertinent notable developments, however, Africa has, hitherto, not fully explored the significant potential of varied renewable energy exploitation and production endeavours. This discrepancy has inevitably had a negative effect on the continent’s overriding objective of drastically improving power capacity, whilst concurrently meeting increasing consumer demands.

As it stands, the continent’s core objective of tapping into renewable energy resource exploitation and utilisation by 2040 – is to ensure that renewables account for at least 50% of energy sources channelled to various power grids. This is a vital objective, as it further ascertains that the region is committed to attaining Agenda 7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that emphasises on ensuring the attainment of access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

In this regard, the adaptation of the following key interventions is a necessity for ensuring that the continent indeed attains its overriding Renewable Energy objectives.

  • Adopt robust off-grid solutions to significantly complement the continent’s predominant on-grid solutions and resultantly attain universal electricity by 2040.
  • Embrace vital transaction advisory and technical assistance from various well-established international Renewable Energy experts.

It is not all dull and gloom, however, as arrays of renowned international stakeholders (i.e., investors and businesses) – have indeed tapped into these viable and potentially lucrative opportunities within the renewables sector, in the continent. Some major ones comprise Access Power (Access), African Rainbow Energy & Power, APR Energy, Berkeley Energy, BioLite, and BioTherm Energy, just to name a few.

Consequently, in this view, arrays of key viable and potentially lucrative business and investment opportunities are ever-growing with this sector in the continent – as subsequently highlighted, henceforth.

Trade and Investment Opportunities

Noting Africa’s endowment with exceptional renewable energy resources, the following renewable energy off-grid focus areas present invaluable trade and investment opportunities within the region.

  • Biomass/Waste-to-Energy solutions
  • Biogas/Biodiesel to power
  • Wind Energy
  • Solar Energy


Bringing in all together

Overall, and in line with the pertinent key Renewable Energy developments presented herein, it is apparent that Africa presents a desirable renewable energy trade and investment destination. International investors and businesses alike are bound to further prosper in their varied renewable energy engagements – by channelling their expertise towards the continent.

Contact us for further information on how to successfully tap into these viable and potentially lucrative Renewable Energy trade and investment opportunities within the continent.


Tel. +44 (0) 333 567 0779


Key References

African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) Ltd. (2019, 2020 & 2021).

African Development Bank Group (2019, 2020 & 2021). African Economic Outlook Report.

Africa Pulse (2019).  An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future.

Africa 2030: Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future (2015).

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).Continuing the United Kingdom’s Trade Relationship with the Eastern and Southern African Region (2019). Department for International Trade.

IRENA. The Renewable Energy Transition in Africa (2021). Powering Access, Resilience and Prosperity.

IRENA. Planning and prospects for renewable power: Eastern and Southern Africa (2021).

Powering Access, Resilience and Prosperity.

The World Bank Group (2019). Global Economic Prospects: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Transforming lives through Renewable Energy access in Africa (2018). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

UK signs Eastern and Southern Africa trade continuity agreement (2019). Department for International Trade.