African experts on Thursday called on governments to explore innovative financing schemes to expand access to green energy among the rural and urban poor.
Alice Kaudia, Environment secretary in Kenya’s ministry of environment and natural resources, said clean energy remains a luxury in many African communities thanks to under-investment and technical hiccups.
“Financing is at the heart of scaling up access to clean energy in Africa. We require market driven solutions to a gaping green energy deficit,”Kaudia told the participants.
“Governments should explore corporate tax rebates and revolving funds to support green entrepreneurs. Policy reforms will encourage the private sector to scale up investments in clean technologies,” said Kaudia, noting that public private partnerships are key to boost investments in green energy across Sub-Saharan Africa.
An estimated 90 percent of rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on carbon emitting energy sources like wood and kerosene.
Cosmas Ochieng, Executive Director at Nairobi-based African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS), noted that two thirds of population in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean energy.
“Africa may not achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the light of a gaping clean energy gap. We require a paradigm shift in key areas like policy, regulations and financing models to enhance access to renewable sources of energy,” said Ochieng, adding that south-south cooperation is key to promote transfer of green technologies.
African governments and corporations should advance soft loans to young innovators to enable them scale up distribution of green technologies to households and institutions.
Nana Asamoah-Manu, operations officer with Lighting Africa Initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), noted that capacity building and access to capital will revitalize investments in clean energy across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“African countries should have a clear vision on energy mix in order to propel industrial progress. They should focus on market driven initiatives to bridge energy deficit. It has worked in Ethiopia,” Asamoah-Manu told Xinhua. Enditem