Africa’s electricity regulators met in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi Thursday to advance the uptake of renewable energy in the continent to combat climate change.
The five-day conference brought together electricity regulators from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Namibia and South Africa to discuss ways to accelerate the use of green energy sources as a means to expand access to electricity in Africa.
Ishmael Ackah, the executive secretary of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission in Ghana, said that the continent has abundant renewable energy resources that can help the region provide affordable and green electricity for its residents.
“In Ghana, we hope to tap more solar energy because it will translate to a cheaper source of energy because we have abundant sunshine,” Ackah declared.
He revealed that currently the bulk of Ghana’s electricity is derived from thermal sources but the country is prioritizing investments in green electricity so as to reduce the carbon emissions from the energy sector.
James Andilile, the director general of Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority, said that his country is keen to expand electricity generation from renewable energy sources.
Andilile stressed that Tanzania has one of the longest rift valley systems on the continent which contains abundant geothermal energy. “The advantage of green energy is that advancement in technology has reduced the operational costs of clean energy production plants,” he said.
Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the chief executive officer of Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority, said that the use of green energy will generate environmental and economic benefits for the continent.
“Renewable energy will also reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels which will result in foreign exchange savings,” she added.