Ghana energy supply
Ghana energy supply

The energy gap between Africa and the rest of the world is widening, according to the 2015 African Progress Report, an annual flagship publication of the Africa Progress Panel, released here Wednesday.

Ghana energy supply
Ghana energy supply
The report said the per capita energy use in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) 15 years ago was 30 per cent of the level in South Asia, compared to 24 percent now.

Africa’s grid has a power generation capacity of 90 gigawatts (GW) and half of it is located in South Africa, with electricity consumption in Spain exceeding that of the whole of SSA.

Excluding South Africa, per capita consumption in the region averages around 162 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This compares with a global average of 7,000 kWh, the report notes, adding: “SSA is desperately short of electricity.”

The report added that two in every three people in the region, or around 621 million people in total, have no reliable access to electricity.

“Access to clean, non-polluting cooking facilities is even more restricted. Almost four in five rely for cooking on solid biomass, mainly fuel wood and charcoal. As a result, 600,000 people in the region die each year of household air pollution,” according to the report.

The international community has set the goal of achieving universal access to modern energy by 2030, but the report said SSA was not on track to achieve that target.

Despite 15 years of sustained economic growth, power shortages, restricted access to electricity and dependence on biomass for fuel are undermining efforts to reduce poverty,” the report emphasized.

On current trends, it said it expected Africa until 2080 to achieve universal access to electricity.

The report highlights the socio-economic implications of the energy deficit on the continent, saying energy sector bottlenecks and power shortages cost the region 2-4 per cent of gross domestic product annually, undermining job creation and investment.

Companies in Ghana and Tanzania are losing 15 percent of the value of sales as a result of power outages while most of Africa’s school children attend classes without access to electricity. In Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger, over 80 percent of primary schools lack access to electricity, the report said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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