''In addition to meeting the
immediate environmental challenges that we face, we also need to
focus more acutely on the potential economic and societal risks
that may arise as transition to a low-carbon and environmentally
secure world accelerates,'' 2018 WEF Global Risks
The fossil fuel era is coming to an end. Renewable energy makes
business sense and investors are noticing. At the end of 2017, a
number of leading international banks publicly announced their
intentions to divest from coal. Some of these big names included ING, The World Bank and Axa. And earlier this week Lloyd's Bank
of London joined them announcing they would begin ''
excluding coal from its investment strategy from 1
The stakes are high for the future of our planet and as many
developed countries battle over how to shift their economies,
Africa is well positioned to leapfrog into a low-carbon
report has cited that renewable energy is set to be cheaper in
fossil fuels in less than two years and a new generation of African
entrepreneurs is taking note:
Simba Muhiro's Oxygen Africa is gearing up to install solar
energy for Zimbabwe's leading property developer. This project will
see around 50MW being installed over 25 years.
ARED company is providing
last mile solar distribution to communities in Rwanda.
James Van de Walt
moved back home to South Africa and set up Solar Turtle, that
aims to provide rural and disadvantaged communities with clean
This kind of
entrepreneurial spirit is in great supply across Africa, and all
that is needed is an environment that enables them to scale up
In addition, some
governments are waking up to the potential of renewable energy not
just as a source of power but as a source of jobs. In Senegal,
solar park went online. And in 2017, Kenya opened up the
largest wind farm in Africa - "It is the largest wind farm in
Africa (and) it has 365 turbines," Carlo Van Wageningen, director
and board member at Lake Turkana Wind Power, told CNBC's
Sustainable Energy last year.
Photo taken at the Lake Turkana Windpower Project Site
All these are encouraging signs and Africa can take a leading
role in the world's transition to renewable energy. What's needed
is a combination of leadership, business acumen, enabling
environments, will and most of all a vision for the future.
Clean energy is ready to power the future.
Kudzayi Ngwerume is Content Editor,
Communications EMEA at Greenpeace & ESCP Europe Executive Master in Marketing and Creativity
(EMMK) Class of 2016.
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