Energy is very vital for socio-economic, human and technological development, yet there is not MDG on increasing access to energy. Africa’s electricity consumption remains low, about 8% of global electricity consumption. There is significant variation in energy consumption among the different regions and countries in Africa. The over-reliance and unsustainable use of traditional biomass fuel in Africa leads to a low levels of energy efficiency and ability to mitigate climate change and high levels of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and health hazards due to indoor air pollution. The development of the various renewable energies (wind, solar, geothermal, bioenergy, fuel cells and tidal energy) is panacea to the energy crisis in Africa. Africa has a very attractive solar radiation and the continent has one of the highest levels of average annual solar radiation; 95% of the daily global sunshine above 6.5 kWh/m2 falls on Africa during winter. This paper discusses the potential for renewable energy in the African continent, the obstacles to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency and enumerates the strategies to scale up the renewable energy market in Africa.
Key words: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, Africa, climate change, electricity.
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