International Solar Alliance (ISA) has urged African states to tap solar energy to green their economies.
ISA Program Ambassador Mohua Mukherjee on Sundaytold a media briefing in Nairobi that the bulk of African states are located along the sunshine belt with abundant solar energy resources.
“African countries should take advantage of declining cost of solar technology to achieve clean energy targets,” Mukherjee said during the second global session of the United Nations Science, Policy and Business Forum on the environment. The majority of the continent’s residents are not connected to their national electricity grids, he said. “This provides a great opportunity for Africans to use solar technology to power their electric appliances,” she added.
The ISA will leverage on South-South cooperation to enable Africa benefit and borrow critical experiences from their peers in other developing countries so that they embrace solar technologies, Mukherjee said. However, according to the global solar body, the high upfront cost remains a key barrier to driving uptake of solar technology among African households.
Mukherjee called for innovative technologies such as pay-as-you-go systems to ensure that the continent has access to solar equipment. She said that by adopting solar technology, Africa can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Mukherjee said strong economic growth in Africa in the past decade has fueled demand for energy in the continent. “It will be prudent for the region to choose green energy sources that will accelerate the drive towards low carbon development pathways,” she said.