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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
AFRICA PROGRESS
REPORT 2015
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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FOREWORD BY KOFI ANNAN
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OVERVIEW
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INTRODUCTION
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01/ POWER TO THE PEOPLE – AFRICA’S ENERGY IMPERATIVE
Disconnected Africa
Opportunity Africa – The region’s vast untapped energy potential
Africa’s energy transformation – The rising tide of reform, investment and innovation
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36
68
89
02/ AFRICA’S OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD ON CLIMATE
Africa’s stake in the global deal
International action – Priorities for Paris
Securing a better deal for Africa
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115
126
135
03/ THE ROAD AHEAD AND RECOMMENDATIONS
African leaders
International community
Private investors and multinational companies
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144
151
158
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
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ANNEXES
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
ABOUT THE
AFRICA PROGRESS
PANEL
KOFI ANNAN
MICHEL CAMDESSUS
PETER EIGEN
BOB GELDOF
GRAÇA MACHEL
STRIVE MASIYIWA
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO
LINAH MOHOHLO
ROBERT RUBIN
TIDJANE THIAM
The Africa Progress Panel (APP) consists of ten distinguished individuals from the private
and public sector who advocate for equitable and sustainable development for Africa.
Mr Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel laureate,
chairs the APP and is closely involved in its day-to-day work.
The life experiences of Panel members give them a formidable capability to access the
worlds of politics, business, diplomacy and civil society at the highest levels in Africa and
across the globe. As a result, the Panel functions in a unique policy space with the ability
to influence diverse decision-makers.
The Panel builds coalitions to leverage and broker knowledge and to convene
decision-makers to create change in Africa. The Panel has extensive networks of
policy analysts and think tanks across Africa and the world. By bringing together the
latest thinking from these knowledge and political networks, the APP contributes to
generating evidence-based policies that can drive the transformation of the continent.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
ABOUT THE
AFRICA PROGRESS
REPORT
The Africa Progress Report (APR) is the annual flagship publication of the Africa
Progress Panel. The APR draws on the best research and analysis available on
Africa and compiles it in a refreshing and balanced manner. The Panel makes policy
recommendations for African political leaders and civil society who collectively have the
primary responsibility for spurring Africa’s progress. In light of the continent’s dynamic
links with the rest of the world, the APR also highlights critical steps that must be taken by
leaders in the international public and private sector.
This report may be freely reproduced, in whole or in part, provided the original source
is acknowledged.
ISBN 978-2-9700821-6-3
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This report draws on the expertise, advice and active engagement of many people.
Caroline Kende-Robb (Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel) led the team preparing
the report. Kevin Watkins (Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute) was the lead
author, with research support from Maria Quattri (Overseas Development Institute). Peter
da Costa (Senior Advisor, Africa Progress Panel) provided advice throughout the project.
The report was edited by Andrew Johnston
We would like to thank the following African institutions and think tanks for their invaluable
contribution: Africa 2.0; the African Carbon Credit Exchange (Zambia); the African
Climate Policy Centre; the African Development Bank; the Centre for the Study of the
Economies of Africa (Nigeria); Consortium pour la Recherche Economique et Sociale
(Senegal); the Institute of Economic Affairs (Ghana) and the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa.
The Global Commission on Economy and Climate, which is chaired and co-chaired
respectively by Felipe Calderón and Nicholas Stern, provided invaluable support and
advice. The Commission’s New Climate Economy Team generously provided a number
of background papers, technical advice and commentary on early drafts.
The Africa Progress Panel benefited from discussions with a number of people prominently
involved in international dialogue on energy and climate. We would like to express our
gratitude to the following individuals: Akinwumi Adesina (Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria);
Adnan Amin (International Renewable Energy Agency); Bertrand Badré (World Bank Group);
Christiana Figueres (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change); Donald
Kaberuka (African Development Bank Group); Saviour Kasukuwere (Ministry of Environment,
Water & Climate, Zimbabwe); Carlos Lopes (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa);
Bernard Mensah (Bank of America Merrill Lynch); Michael Møller (United Nations Office at
Geneva); Kwame Pianim (Management and Investment Consultant); Mary Robinson (Mary
Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice); Achim Steiner (United Nations Environment Programme);
Andrew Scott (Overseas Development Institute); Lars Thunell (African Risk Capacity Insurance
Company Limited); Kandeh Yumkella (Sustainable Energy for All Initiative).
We drew on the advice and insights of a group of expert commentators, all of whom were
extremely generous with their time. Special thanks are due to: Mohamed Adow (Christian
Aid); Lawrence Agbemabiese, Aaron Smith (University of Delaware, Centre for Energy
and Environmental Policy); Mahenau Agha, Chad Carpenter (United Nations Environment
Programme); Tom Cardamone (Global Financial Integrity); Anton Cartwright (African Center
for Cities); Stephen Connor; Nathalie Delapalme (Mo Ibrahim Foundation); Christopher
Delgado (World Resources Institute); Fatima Denton, Linus Mofor, Johnson Nkem, Joseph
Intsiful, James Murombedzi (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa); David
Doepel (Africa Australia Research Forum); Francis Stevens George, Lawrence E. Jones
(Center for Sustainable Development in Africa); Nick Godfrey, Jana Frejova (New Climate
Economy); Natasha Grist (Overseas Development Institute); Thomas Hale (Oxford University
Blavatnik School of Government); Augustine Jarrett (Government of Liberia); Steve KayizziMugerwa (African Development Bank Group); Fiona Lambe (Stockholm Environment
Institute); Christopher Martius (Center for International Forestry Research); Jean Mensah
(Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana); Simon Mizrahi (African Development Bank Group);
Yacoub Mulugetta (University College London); Jeremy Oppenehim (McKinsey); Rudy
Rabbinge (Wageningen University); Guido Schmidt-Traub (UN Sustainable Development
Solutions Network); Abebe Selassie (International Monetary Fund); Clare Shakya, Tiege
Cahill (UK Department for International Development); Patrick Smith (Africa Confidential);
Youba Sokona (South Centre); Tesfai Tecle (Kofi Annan Foundation); Madeleine Christine
Thomson, Tufa Dinku(International Research Institute for Climate and Society); Mamadou
Touré (Africa 2.0); Kevin Urama (Quantum Global Research Lab); William Westermeyer.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
The Africa Progress Panel also acknowledges the following for their insights and
contributions: Achala Abeysinghe (International Institute for Sustainable Development);
John Asafu-Adjaye, John Kwabena Kwakye (Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana); JeanClaude Bastos de Morais (African Innovation Foundation); Firew Bekele Woldeyes
(Ethiopian Development Research Institute); Sam Bickerseth (Climate Development and
Knowledge Network); George Boden (Global Witness); Lloyd J.C. Chingambo (African
Carbon Credit Exchange); Abdoulaye Digne (Consortium pour la Recherche Economique
et Sociale); Geoff Duffy (UK Department for International Development); Luciani Giacomo
(The Graduate Institute of Geneva); Marc Gueniat, Andreas Missbach (Berne Declaration);
Emily Jones, Sangjung Ha, Ngaire Woods , Alexandra Zeitz, (Oxford University Blavatnik
School of Government); Marie Jürisoo, Jacqueline Senyagwa, Hannah Wanjiru (Stockholm
Environment Institute); Zitto Kabwe (Parliament of Tanzania); Wanjohi Kabukuru (Indian
Ocean Observatory); Fatima Kassam (African Risk Capacity); Thomas Michael Kerr,
Stacy A. Swann, Klaus Oppermann, Raffaello Cervigni (World Bank Group); Michel
Lavollay (Public Private Partnership Europe); Malcom McCulloch (Oxford University,
Department of Engineering Science); Vijay Modi (The Earth Institute, Columbia University);
Chris Moll (Lexchange); Nader Mousavizadeh (Macro Advisory Partners); Benito Muller
(European Capacity Building Initiative); Patrick Ngowi (Helvetic Solar Contractors);
Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Johnson Oguntola (United Nations Economic Commission for
Africa); Ebere Uneze (Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa); Laurie Van der
Burg, Shelagh Whitley (Overseas Development Institute); Henning Wuester (International
Renewable Energy Agency); Thom Woodrooffe (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marshall
Islands); Xiao Zhao (New Climate Economy).
We wish to express our gratitude to our organizing partners at United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa and Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government.
The Africa Progress Panel would like to acknowledge the generous support from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the Norwegian Agency for Development
Cooperation (Norad) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The front cover, infographics and layout were designed by Blossom Communications in
Milan and printed on recycled paper by Imprimerie Genevoise SA. The report was copy
edited by Tom Minney. The cover and chapter images are part of a satellite image of the
Geba River in Guinea-Bissau taken on 11 December 2002, and provided to the APP by
Airbus DS. Copyright: CNES 2002, Distribution Airbus DS.
The report is also available on Worldreader Mobile at read.worldreader.org for any
data enabled mobile phone. Background papers prepared for the report are available at
africaprogresspanel.org.
None of the above individuals or institutions are responsible for errors in the report or for
the wider content, which reflects the views of the Africa Progress Panel.
SECRETARIAT
CAROLINE KENDE-ROBB Executive Director
ALINKA BRUTSCH
CATHERINE HUBERT GIROD
MAX JARRETT
ALERO OKORODUDU
YASMIN OMAR
TEMITAYO OMOTOLA
DAMIEN SOME
STEPHEN YEBOAH
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FOREWORD
BY KOFI ANNAN
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Can the world prevent catastrophic climate change while building the energy systems
needed to sustain growth, create jobs and lift millions of people out of poverty? That
question goes to the heart of the defining development challenges of the 21st century,
and is the focus of this year’s report.
It is a vital question for Africa. No region has done less to contribute to the
climate crisis, but no region will pay a higher price for failure to tackle it. This year
governments around the world will sign up for an ambitious new set of international
development goals. These bold plans could turn to dust if world average temperatures
are allowed to increase by more than 2˚C. There is now a real and present
danger that climate change will stall and then reverse the fragile gains made over
the past two decades. Meanwhile, over half of Africa’s population lacks access
to basic electricity and clean cooking facilities – and the numbers are rising.
Climate change demands that we rethink the relationship between energy and
development. The carbon-intensive energy systems that drive our economies have
set us on a collision course with our planetary boundaries. We can avoid that
collision. As a global community, we have the technology, finance and ingenuity to
make the transition to a low-carbon future, but so far we lack the political leadership
and practical policies needed to break the link between energy and emissions.
The central message of this report is: Africa is well placed to be part of that leadership.
Some African countries are already leading the world in low-carbon, climate-resilient
development. They are boosting economic growth, expanding opportunity and
reducing poverty, particularly through agriculture. African nations do not have to lock
into developing high-carbon old technologies; we can expand our power generation
and achieve universal access to energy by leapfrogging into new technologies that are
transforming energy systems across the world. Africa stands to gain from developing
low-carbon energy, and the world stands to gain from Africa avoiding the high-carbon
pathway followed by today’s rich world and emerging markets.
Unlocking this “win-win” will not be easy. It will require decisive action on the part of
Africa’s leaders, not least in reforming inefficient, inequitable and often corrupt utilities
that have failed to develop flexible energy systems to provide firms with a reliable power
supply and people with access to electricity. Tackling Africa’s interlocking climate and
energy problems will also require strengthened international cooperation. The major
summits planned for 2015 – on finance, the Sustainable Development Goals and
climate – provide an opportunity to start the change.
Our report shows that Africa’s energy challenge is substantial. Over 600 million people
still do not have access to modern energy. It is shocking that Sub-Saharan Africa’s
electricity consumption is less than that of Spain and on current trends it will take until
2080 to for every African to have access to electricity.
Modern energy also means clean cooking facilities that don’t pollute household air.
An estimated 600,000 Africans die each year as a result of household air pollution,
half of them children under the age of five. On current trends, universal access
to non‑polluting cooking will not happen until the middle of the 22nd century.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
The December 2015 talks on a new global climate treaty are approaching fast.
Africa is already experiencing earlier, more severe and more damaging impacts of
climate change than other parts of the world. Left unchecked, it will reduce agricultural
productivity, create conditions for mass hunger and reverse human development.
Africa’s lack of energy means it has a tiny carbon footprint. African leaders have every
reason to support international efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. At the same
time, they urgently need more power to boost and transform their economies and to increase
energy access. Their challenge is to embrace a judicious, dynamic energy mix in which
renewable sources will gradually replace fossil fuels.
Africa has enormous potential for cleaner energy – natural gas and hydro, solar, wind
and geothermal power - and should seek ways to move past the damaging energy
systems that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe.
The waste of scarce resources in Africa’s energy systems remains stark and disturbing.
Current highly centralized energy systems often benefit the rich and bypass the poor
and are underpowered, inefficient and unequal. Energy-sector bottlenecks and power
shortages cost the region 2-4 per cent of GDP annually, undermining sustainable
economic growth, jobs and investment. They also reinforce poverty, especially for
women and people in rural areas. It is indefensible that Africa’s poorest people are
paying among the world’s highest prices for energy: a woman living in a village in
northern Nigeria spends around 60 to 80 times per unit more for her energy than a
resident of New York City or London. Changing this is a huge investment opportunity.
Millions of energy-poor, disconnected Africans, who earn less than US$2.50 a day,
already constitute a US$10-billion yearly energy market.
What would it take to expand power generation and finance energy for all? We
estimate that investment of US$55 billion per year is needed until 2030 to meet
demand and achieve universal access to electricity. One of the greatest barriers to the
transformation of the power sector is the low level of tax collection and the failure of
governments to build credible tax systems. Domestic taxes can cover almost half the
financing gap in Sub-Saharan Africa. Redirecting US$21 billion spent on subsidies to
wasteful utilities and kerosene to productive energy investment, social protection and
targeted connectivity for the poor would show that governments are ready to do things
differently. I urge African leaders to take that step.
Additional revenues can be mobilized by stemming the haemorrhage of finance lost
through illicit financial transfers, narrowing opportunities for tax evasion and borrowing
cautiously on bond markets. Aid must play a supportive, catalytic role. Global and
African investment institutions already see the growth and revenue prospects of African
infrastructure in a world where demand is slowing in developed countries.
Reforming energy utilities is also key. Long-term national interest must override shortterm political gain, vested interests, corruption and political patronage. Energy-sector
governance and financial transparency will help bring light in the darkness. Energy
entrepreneurs can join the reformed utilities in investing revenues and energy funds in
sustainable power that saves the planet and pays steady dividends. Some countries in
the region are already at the front of the global trend of climate-resilient, low-carbon
development, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Better and more accessible energy can also power up Africa’s agriculture. Governments
should take advantage of “triple-win” adaptation opportunities that integrate social
protection with climate-smart strategies to raise agricultural productivity and to develop
rural infrastructure, including crop storage, agro-processing and transport, cutting poverty
while strengthening international efforts to combat climate change.
Actions taken by African leaders are essential, and so are actions by the world.
The 2015 summits provide a platform for deepening international cooperation and
providing a down-payment on measures with the potential to put Africa on a pathway
towards an inclusive low-carbon energy future and the world on a pathway to avoid
climate catastrophe. All countries stand to lose if we fail to achieve the international goal of
restricting global warming to below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels. Africa will lose the most.
Governments in the major emitting countries should place a stringent price on emissions of
greenhouse gases by taxing them, instead of continuing effectively to subsidize them, for
example by spending billions on subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration. The political power of
multinational energy companies and other vested interest groups is still far too strong.
Unlocking Africa’s energy potential and putting in place the foundations for a climateresilient, low-carbon future will require ambitious, efficient and properly financed
multilateral cooperation. As we show in this report, the current global climate finance
architecture fails each of these credibility tests.
The window of opportunity for avoiding climate catastrophe is closing fast. The only
promises that matter at the Paris climate summit are those that are kept. Africa’s leaders
must rise to the challenge. They are the voice of their citizens in the climate talks – and
that voice must be heard. Social movements, business leaders, religious leaders of all
faiths and the leaders of the world’s cities can join governments and create an irresistible
force for change to win the war against poverty and avert climate catastrophe.
Future generations will surely judge this generation of leaders not by principles they set
out in communiqués but by what they actually do to eradicate poverty, build shared
prosperity and protect our children and their children from climate disaster.
Let us act now and act together.
KOFI A. ANNAN
Chair of the Africa Progress Panel
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
OVERVIEW
“We can no longer tinker about the edges. We can no longer continue feeding our
addiction to fossil fuels as if there were no tomorrow. For there will be no tomorrow.
As a matter of urgency we must begin a global transition to a new safe energy
economy. This requires fundamentally rethinking our economic systems, to put them on
a sustainable and more equitable footing.” Desmond Tutu, Human Rights activist and
Nobel Prize winner
“Africa, too, has no choice other than join hands to adapt and mitigate the effects of
climate change. However, Africa can make a choice on how it can adapt and mitigate
and when it can do so in terms of timeframe and pace. For Africa, this is both a
challenge and an opportunity. If Africa focuses on smart choices, it can win investments
in the next few decades in climate resilient and low emission development pathways.”
H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
2015 is a watershed year for international development. In September, global leaders
will gather at the United Nations in New York to adopt a new set of sustainable
development goals. Before then, in July, governments meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to
agree on the financing framework that underpins the goals. At the end of the year, the
summit spotlight will shift to Paris and the crucial negotiations on a new climate change
agreement. The stakes could hardly be higher. The risks that will come with failure
are immense. Yet this is a moment of great opportunity for the world and for Africa.
Energy is the link connecting the global poverty agenda and climate change. The
carbon-intensive energy systems now driving economic growth are locked into a collision
course with the ecological systems that define our planetary boundaries. Averting that
collision – while eradicating poverty, building more inclusive societies and meeting the
energy needs of the world’s poorest countries and people – is the defining international
cooperation challenge of the 21st century.
Nowhere are the threads connecting energy, climate and development more evident
than in Africa. No region has made a smaller contribution to climate change. Yet Africa
will pay the highest price for failure to avert a global climate catastrophe. Meanwhile,
the region’s energy systems are underpowered, inefficient and unequal. Energy deficits
act as a brake on economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction, and they
reinforce inequalities linked to wealth, gender and the rural-urban divide.
This year’s Africa Progress Report explores the links between energy, poverty and climate
change. We document the risks that would come with a business-as-usual approach.
More important, we highlight the opportunities for African leaders both at home and on
the world stage.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Energy policy is at the heart of the opportunity. For too long, Africa’s leaders have been
content to oversee highly centralized energy systems designed to benefit the rich and
bypass the poor. Power utilities have been centres of political patronage and corruption.
The time has come to revamp Africa’s creaking energy infrastructure, while riding the wave
of low-carbon innovation that is transforming energy systems around the world. Africa cannot
afford to stand on the sidelines of the renewable energy revolution. It can play its part in this
revolution and tackle the challenges of transitioning away from fossil fuels. Low-carbon technologies can be rapidly deployed to expand power generation and
to extend the reach of energy systems. With the right policies in place, low-carbon
development can correct one of the world’s greatest market failures. Millions of Africa’s
poorest people are paying among the world’s highest prices for energy because of
the cost barriers separating them from affordable, efficient and accessible renewable
technologies. Removing that barrier would unlock market opportunities and unleash
a productive power to reduce poverty and build inclusive societies that dwarfs what
could be achieved through aid.
The message of this report is that Africa can lead the world on climate-resilient, lowcarbon development. Some countries in the region are already doing so, and others
should follow. Many of the policies needed to build more resilient societies that can
cope with climate change are long overdue. Raising agricultural productivity, conserving
land and forestry resources, and planning more sustainable cities would reduce
vulnerability and drive down poverty. In each of these areas there would be significant
global benefits for climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This
is a triple-win scenario for economic growth, poverty reduction and climate.
In this report we emphasize Africa’s leadership role.
This is not to downplay the critical importance of international cooperation. Keeping
global warming below the 2˚C threshold above pre-industrial levels demands collective
action to address a shared threat. Similarly, unlocking Africa’s energy potential and
putting in place the foundations for a climate-resilient, low-carbon future will require
ambitious, efficient and properly financed multilateral cooperation. As we show in this
report, the current architecture fails each of these credibility tests.
Based on extensive consultations with African energy planners, climate negotiators,
researchers and governments, this report sets out the Africa Progress Panel’s perspective
on the energy and climate challenges. It also provides an agenda for change and a call
to action directed not just to Africa’s leaders, but to the wider international community.
More power with equity - Africa’s energy challenge
Universal access to energy systems that provide a reliable and adequate supply of power
to homes, firms and service providers is a condition for sustained human development.
Africa’s energy systems are not fit for the purpose of supporting shared prosperity.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
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 energy gap between Africa and the rest of the world is widening. Fifteen years ago,
per capita energy use in Sub-Saharan Africa was 30 per cent of the level in South Asia,
now it is just 24 per cent and still falling.
Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of electricity. The region’s grid has a power
generation capacity of just 90 gigawatts (GW) and half of it is located in one country,
South Africa. Electricity consumption in Spain exceeds that of the whole of Sub-Saharan
Africa.
Excluding South Africa, consumption averages around 162 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per
capita per year. This compares to a global average of 7,000 kWh.
It would take the average Tanzanian around eight years to consume as much electricity
as an American uses in one month.
Average figures mask the extent of Africa’s energy deficit. Two in every three people
– around 621 million in total – have no access to electricity. In Nigeria, an oilexporting superpower, 93 million people lack electricity. Angola has five times the
average income level of Bangladesh but Bangladesh has far higher levels of access to
electricity (55 per cent versus 35 per cent).
Access to clean, non-polluting cooking facilities is even more restricted. Almost four in five
rely for cooking on solid biomass, mainly fuelwood and charcoal. As a result, 600,000
people in the region die each year of household air pollution. Almost half are children
under 5.
The international community has set the goal of achieving universal access to modern
energy by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve that target. It is the only
region in which the absolute number of people without access to modern energy is set to
rise, by 45 million for electricity and 184 million for clean cooking stoves.
On current trends, it will take Africa until 2080 to achieve universal access to electricity.
Universal access to clean cooking facilities would occur around 100 years later,
sometime after the middle of the 22nd century.
The social, economic and human costs of Africa’s energy crisis are insufficiently recognized.
Energy-sector bottlenecks and power shortages cost the region 2-4 per cent of GDP
annually, undermining job creation and investment. Companies in Tanzania and Ghana are
losing 15 per cent of the value of sales as a result of power outages. Most of Africa’s school
children attend classes without access to electricity. In Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi
and Niger, over 80 per cent of primary schools lack access to electricity.
Governance of power utilities is at the heart of Africa’s energy crisis. Governments
often view utilities primarily as sites of political patronage and vehicles for corruption,
providing affordable energy can be a distant secondary concern.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Far too much public finance is wasted on inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies.
Governments spend US$21 billion a year covering utility losses and subsidising oil-based
products, diverting resources from more productive energy investments.
Africa’s poorest households are the unwitting victims of one of the world’s starkest market
failures. We estimate that the 138 million households comprising people living on less
than US$2.50 a day are spending US$10 billion annually on energy-related products,
such as charcoal, candles, kerosene and firewood. Translated into equivalent cost terms,
these households spend around US$10/kWh on lighting, which is about 20 times the
amount spent by high-income households with a connection to the grid for their lighting.
The average cost for electricity per kWh in the United States is US$0.12 and in the
United Kingdom is US$0.15.
The size of the market points to significant opportunities for investment and household
savings. Halving costs would save US$5 billion for people living below US$2.50, or
US$36 per household. Plausible price reductions of 80 per cent would raise these figures
to US$8 billion overall and US$58 per household. Such savings could release income for
investment in productive activities, health and education. We estimate that the monetary
saving from cost reductions would be sufficient to reduce poverty by 16-26 million people.
What would it take to expand power generation and finance energy for all?
Current energy-sector investment levels are just US$8 billion a year, or 0.49 per cent
of gross domestic product (GDP). This is inadequate. We estimate the investment
financing gap for meeting demand and achieving universal access to electricity is
around US$55 billion, or 3.4 per cent of Africa’s GDP in 2013.
While this financing gap figure is large, it has to be placed in context. Energy
financing is an investment with the potential to generate high social and economic
returns by increasing productivity, job creation and economic growth.
Almost half of the gap could be covered by increasing Sub-Saharan Africa’s tax-toGDP ratio by 1 per cent of GDP. Additional revenues could be mobilized by halting
the wasteful subsidies now transferred to loss-making utilities, stemming the finance lost
as a result of illicit financial transfers, and cautious recourse to bond markets.
Aid can play a supportive, catalytic role. African governments themselves should
mobilize around US$10 billion to expand on-grid and off-grid energy access. The
international community should match this effort through US$10 billion in aid and
concessional finance aimed at supporting investments that deliver energy access to
populations that are being left behind.
Opportunity Africa
Africa’s energy deficits stand in stark contrast to the region’s potential.
Africa has abundant reserves of fossil fuels and an even greater abundance
of renewable energy assets. Rising demand for energy makes it imperative for
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
policymakers to develop Africa’s resources for Africa’s needs, with less emphasis
placed on the “three e” model of exploration, extraction and export.
Urbanization, population growth and economic growth are driving an increase
in energy demand. Modelling by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests
that electricity generation will need to increase by 4 per cent a year to 2040.
The Africa Progress Panel regards this scenario as unambitious. Africa’s per
capita energy consumption would be one-third of the level in Thailand today. It
would leave millions of Africans quite literally in the dark, with over 500 million
people lacking access to electricity in 2040, a decade after the target date
for universal access to energy. Such an outcome would be indefensible.
African governments need to set a higher level of ambition. Policies should aim at
a 10-fold increase in power generation and universal access to energy by 2030.
Countries such as Brazil, Thailand and Vietnam have demonstrated that, with sustained
political leadership, these outcomes are attainable.
Renewable energy has a critical role to play. As highlighted by the Global
Commission on Economy and Climate, headed by former Mexican president Felipe
Calderón, the idea that countries face a choice between green energy and growth
is increasingly anachronistic. Prices for renewable technologies, especially solar
and wind-power, are falling at an extraordinary rate to the point at which they are
competitive with fossil fuels.
From an African perspective, renewable technologies have two distinctive
advantages: speed and decentralization. They can be deployed far more rapidly
than coal-fired power plants and they can operate both on-grid and off-grid. In
considering investment decisions today, Africa’s governments should take every
opportunity to lay the foundations for a low-carbon future, while recognizing that
the transition away from existing high carbon infrastructure will take some time.
Africa’s energy transformation
After decades of neglect, a powerful current of energy reform is sweeping across Africa.
Governments increasingly recognize that underpowered and unequal energy systems
are a barrier to developing dynamic economies and more inclusive societies. While
there is a long way to go and the record is mixed, the potential for a breakthrough in
energy is increasingly evident.
Part of that potential is reflected in what some countries are already achieving. Since
2000, net electricity generation has increased by 4 per cent a year or more in 33
countries. Looking forward, the Africa Progress Panel has reviewed the energy plans
of some 30 countries and most aim well beyond doubling capacity by 2020.
Financing for energy development is on the increase. African governments are
investing more, albeit from a low base. Many are supplementing energy investments
by turning to sovereign bond markets.
18
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Domestic and foreign private investment is rising, reflecting a move towards liberalization.
Nigeria has one of the world’s largest and most ambitious energy-privatization plans.
Some 130 independent power providers (IPPs) are now operating across Sub-Saharan
Africa. A new generation of private equity investors is also emerging. There were around
27 private equity investments in energy and natural resources, with an aggregate value
of US$1.2 billion between 2010 and 2013.
International development finance has played a significant role in unlocking private
investment. President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which promises US$7
billion over five years, has acted as a focal point for a range of US agencies and
the private sector. Energy cooperation between the European Union and Africa is
deepening. The game-changer, though, is the emergence of China as a source of
integrated project finance for large-scale energy projects.
Encouraging as these developments are, they fall short of a breakthrough. African
governments are mobilizing insufficient resources through domestic revenues.
Moreover, while recourse to bond markets offers some benefits, countries are incurring
significant foreign-currency risks. International development finance is constrained
by excessive fragmentation, high transaction costs and poor coordination. Looking
ahead, the challenge is to scale up domestic resource mobilization and to secure
access to long-term financing from pension funds and other institutional investors.
Sustained regulatory reform is critical for investment. Unbundling power generation,
transmission and distribution is one step towards creating more efficient and stable
energy markets. Independent regulation is another. But private investors require an
energy buyer such as a utility or dedicated power-purchasing agency and it is hard
to build a convincing business case when the main buyer is a highly-indebted, corrupt
and inefficient utility.
Renewable energy – riding the wave of global innovation
Renewable energy is at the forefront of the changes sweeping Africa.
Hydropower continues to dominate the investment landscape. Countries as diverse
as Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are developing very large
power-generation plants that use renewable energy. But the renewables revolution is
also being driven from below, as innovative companies respond to household demand
for lighting and power. On one estimate, 5 per cent of households in Sub-Saharan
Africa now use some form of solar lighting, compared with 1 per cent in 2009.
New business models are emerging. One example comes from Kenya. M-KOPA has
brought together solar and mobile technology to bring affordable solar technologies
to off-grid villages. Customers pay a small deposit for a solar home system that would
usually retail for US$200, including a solar panel, three ceiling lights, a radio and
charging outlets for mobile phones. The balance is repaid in small instalments on a
pay-as-you-use basis through M-PESA, a widely available mobile-payment platform that
is used by a third of the population.
19
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Some governments are partnering with the private sector to extend the reach of
electricity. The Ignite Power project in Rwanda brings together several private
companies, the government and philanthropic agencies. The project aims to install
off-grid technology through a pre-paid system that can power four lights, radios and
televisions, and charge cell phones.
Despite such compelling examples, progress remains far too slow. While poor households
stand to save over time from adopting new technologies, the initial costs of solar panels are
too high for many.
This is a classic market failure. Consumers, investors and the wider economy are losing
out because of the absence of institutional mechanisms to link supply and demand.
However, the market failure can be corrected through a combination of public policy
action, business innovation and international cooperation.
Climate change – an opportunity for transformation
The risks associated with climate change in Africa are well established. High levels of
background poverty, dependence on rainfall, weak infrastructure and limited provision
of safety nets combine to make climate risk a major source of vulnerability, even
without global warming. Climate justice demands international cooperation and basic
human solidarity to contain these risks.
Viewed from a different perspective, climate change provides African governments with
an added incentive to put in place policies that are long overdue and to demonstrate
leadership on the international stage. Countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda
have already developed climate-resilient development strategies aimed at reducing
poverty, raising productivity and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
From an African perspective two priorities stand out for the Paris climate summit in
December 2015. The first is an ambitious deal that delivers on the commitment to keep
global warming within the 2˚C threshold. Second, the climate agreement must address
the financing and capacity-building challenges that Africa faces in responding to the
climate challenge.
Africa will be hit hard by climate change
Climate change will have local impacts in Africa but their timing and severity will be
determined by global emissions.
The most severe and immediate effects will be felt by the rural poor. If global average
temperatures are allowed to increase by 4˚C, large areas used for cropping sorghum,
millet and maize would become unviable. In some areas drought could become
more protracted and severe. In other cases, productivity levels will be affected by
unpredictable rainfall, increased temperature and flooding.
The Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies
Africa as the region at greatest risk from global warming. Regional heating will exceed
20
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
the global average. While climate modelling does not provide cast-iron predictions,
it does point to high levels of risk in many areas. Rising sea levels could threaten
coastal cities such as Accra, Dar es Salaam and Lagos. Hydropower systems could
be compromised by reduced rainfall and increased evaporation. New health threats
could emerge. In each of these areas, the poor will bear the brunt.
Seizing the opportunity – land use and transformative adaptation
The severity and immediacy of the risks posed by climate change have deflected
attention from opportunities to build more climate-resilient approaches to
development.
These approaches offer “triple-win” benefits: boosting agricultural productivity, reducing
poverty and strengthening international efforts to combat climate change.
Land use should be a focal point for strategies aimed at unlocking these benefits.
Much of African agriculture is locked in a vicious circle of low productivity, poverty
and environmental degradation. Around 2 million hectares of forest were lost annually
between 2000 and 2010.
Changes in agriculture, forestry and land-use patterns are responsible for emissions
equivalent to 10 - 12 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2), around one-quarter of
the global total. Africa accounts for around 20 per cent of these emissions. While the
region may account for a small share of overall greenhouse gas emissions, the region’s
emissions from agriculture, forestry and land-use changes are growing at 1-2 per cent a
year. Such changes account for about half of Africa’s emissions – and the share is rising.
Reversing the vicious circle of low productivity, environmental degradation and
climate change has the potential to unlock far-reaching benefits. One of the most
striking examples comes from Niger, where smallholder farmers have transformed the
productivity and sustainability of agriculture across 5 million hectares of land.
As shown in last year’s Africa Progress Report, African governments could also do far
more to reduce vulnerability and raise productivity through wider measures. Investment
in rural infrastructure, social protection and developing new seeds, allied with greater
financial inclusion and the promotion of regional trade, could do far more to enhance
climate resilience than the current proliferation of small-scale adaptation projects.
The dangerous gap between international policy commitments and
actions
The Paris climate summit provides an opportunity to negotiate an agreement that
will deliver on the commitment to keep the 21st century’s global average temperature
increase within 2˚C.
There have been some encouraging signs. Over the past year the world’s largest
emitters, which are China, the European Union and the United States, have all
pledged more decisive action to cut emissions. Governments have also agreed
to table their proposed actions – or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
(INDCs) – before the summit.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
On a less positive note, the pledges that have been made leave the world far from a
viable trajectory for meeting the 2˚C commitment. The most credible scientific evidence
estimates that the world is on a pathway that will lead to 4˚C warming over the
course of the 21st century. Such an outcome would have catastrophic consequences
for Sub-Saharan Africa. Averting that outcome should be at the heart of every African
government’s climate diplomacy.
Despite the known threats, far too many countries are failing to take decisive action.
Several countries including Australia and Canada appear to have withdrawn
entirely from constructive international engagement on climate. Others have adopted
contradictory policy stances. The US$88 billion spent by G20 countries on subsidies for
the discovery and exploitation of new fossil fuels is one example. To avoid catastrophic
climate change, two-thirds of existing reserves have to be left in the ground, begging
the question of why taxpayers’ money is being used to discover new reserves of
“unburnable” hydrocarbons.
Governments in the major emitting countries should be placing a stringent price on
emissions of greenhouse gases geared towards a credible carbon budget. Instead
of taxing emissions for the global public good, they are effectively subsidising them.
While many factors are at play, the political power of multinational energy companies
and other vested interest groups weighs far too heavily in the decision-making
processes of many governments.
Securing a better deal for Africa
The INDCs provide African governments with a vehicle to set out their ambition for
the transition to a growth-oriented, climate-resilient, low-carbon development model.
Building on existing energy and land-use strategies, the submissions could go beyond
outlining what countries are doing now to identify what could be done through deeper
international cooperation on financing, technology and capacity development.
Africa’s governments should also use the 2015 financing and climate summits to press
for wider reforms. Climate finance is a starting point. On one estimate, there are now
50 climate funds in operation under a fragmented patchwork of mechanisms with a
total financing pool of around US$25 billion.
Sub-Saharan Africa has not been well served by this elaborate international climate
financing architecture. Over the three financial years 2010–2012, just US$3.7 billion
was provided in “fast-start” finance. Not all of this represents new and additional aid,
some may have been diverted from other projects.
Detailed analysis of financial transfers points to two structural weaknesses in the
climate-finance architecture: chronic under-financing and fragmentation. Both
weaknesses are apparent in the financing offered for adaptation measures. Detailed
costing exercises carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
put annual adaptation financing requirements at around US$11 billion through to
2020. Average annual aid financing amounts to around 5 per cent at this amount.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
When it comes to international climate finance for efforts to mitigate climate change
by reducing emissions, Sub-Saharan Africa is picking up the small change. Nigeria
and South Africa are the only countries to have received support from the Clean
Technology Fund. A larger group of low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have
received pledges of support to develop solar, wind and geothermal power. However,
as of February 2015, only Ethiopia, Kenya and Mali had received financing.
Recommendations
The Africa Progress Panel’s recommendations identify a range of practical measures
for expanding power generation, accelerating progress towards universal access to
energy, and supporting low-carbon development. They also set out an agenda for the
Paris climate summit, linking international action to African strategies for climate-resilient
development.
Many of the specific proposals are directed to African governments. In the absence of
ambitious African leadership, opportunities for an energy transformation will be wasted.
By the same token, without strengthened international cooperation the opportunities
available will be only partially exploited. The 2015 summits provide a platform for
deepening international cooperation, setting a course that avoids climate disaster and
delivering a down-payment on measures with the potential to put Africa on a pathway
towards future powered by inclusive low-carbon energy.
Core recommendations for African governments:
Raise the ambition of Africa’s energy strategies. Governments should aim at a 10-fold
increase in power generation by 2040, while laying the foundations for a low-carbon
transition. Public spending on energy should be raised to 3-4 per cent of gross domestic
product (GDP), supported by measures aimed at raising the tax-to-GDP ratio and avoiding
excessive reliance on bond markets. Given the US$55 billion per annum gap in energy
financing, governments should prioritize the development of balanced public-private
partnerships and create the conditions for expanded private investment. Governments
should look beyond national borders to accelerate the development of regional grids.
Seize the low carbon opportunity. Governments should strengthen the market for
low-carbon energy through predictable off-take arrangements, utility purchase
arrangements, feed-in tariffs and auctions. Recognising that the initial capital costs of
renewable energy investment can be prohibitive, governments and regulators should
seek to reduce risks and support the development of the market through appropriately
subsidized loans.
Leave no one behind. Africa’s energy systems combine inequity with inefficiency. They
provide subsidized electricity for the wealthy, unreliable power supplies for firms and
very little for the poor. National strategies should act on the commitment to achieve
universal access to energy by 2030, which means providing access for an additional
645 million people through connections to the grid or decentralized mini-grid or offgrid provision. Every government should map the populations that lack access and
23
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
identify the most effective routes for delivery. Better and more accessible energy can
also power up Africa’s agriculture. Governments should work with the private sector
to develop the innovative business models needed to deliver affordable energy to the
US$10 billion market of people who live on incomes of less than US$2.50 a day.
Cut the pro-rich subsidies. National strategies should include a roadmap and
schedule for phasing out the US$21 billion in energy subsidies geared towards
the rich. Subsidizing connections for the poor is more efficient and equitable than
subsidizing energy consumption by the rich and subsidizing kerosene is of limited
value as a tool for achieving universal access.
Deepen reform of energy governance. Governments across the region need to step
up the pace of reform. Unbundling power generation, transmission and distribution
is a starting point. But effective governance also requires the creation of robust,
independent regulatory bodies empowered to hold utilities to account. Utilities
themselves should be required to publish the terms of all off-take arrangements and
emergency power-purchase agreements and they should prohibit tendering through
offshore listed companies. While encouraging legislation has been introduced, the
record on implementation is patchy. Establishing predictable off-take agreements is
critical for attracting high-quality, long-term investment.
Adopt new models of planned urbanization. As the world’s most rapidly urbanizing
region, Africa has opportunities to develop more compact, less polluted cities, alongside
safer and more efficient public transport systems. Economies of scale and rising urban
incomes have the potential to expand opportunities for providing renewable energy and
achieving universal access to basic services. Linking African cities to the growing range of
global city networks, including the “C40” group of cities, could unlock new opportunities for
knowledge exchange, capacity building and financing. Governments, multilateral agencies
and aid donors should work together to strengthen the creditworthiness of cities, while
developing innovative partnerships for clean energy.
Develop and act upon an African strategy for the Paris climate summit. The African
Common Positions developed by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) and
endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) provide
the basis for a strong set of demands that African countries can take to Paris. However,
governments have often failed to act upon their collective commitments. Given the
power asymmetry in the climate negotiations, this is not in the best interests of Africa’s
citizens. With one voice, Africa’s governments should:
• Reject greenhouse-gas reduction commitments from rich countries and emerging
markets that are not aligned with the 2˚C commitment.
• Demand that rich countries set a course for zero net emissions by 2050, going
further than envisaged in the current proposals of the European Union and the
United States.
• Urge Australia, Canada and Japan to adopt a more credible and constructive
stance on their climate offers.
• Request that China raises the level of ambition by bringing forward the proposed
date for peak emissions.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
• Demand increased support for climate-resilient development and transformative
adaptation, along with a fundamental overhaul of the current multilateral
adaptation finance system.
Engage fully in negotiations on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
(INDCs). Many African governments have been reluctant to engage in the INDC
process in the light of Africa’s limited contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the INDCs provide an opportunity to set out policies that could promote
growth and reduce poverty in Africa, while limiting global greenhouse gas emissions.
The INDCs could be used to identify opportunities for international cooperation, linked
to additional financing. To cite some examples:
• Eliminate within five years of gas flaring, which is a potent source of global
warming and a waste of Africa’s energy resources.
• Identify opportunities for combating soil erosion, conserving land, avoiding
deforestation and restoring degraded forests and land.
• Highlight current actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the
costs of reducing future emissions by scaling up renewable energy.
Proposals for action by the international community:
Create a “global connectivity fund” under the auspices of the Sustainable Energy
for All (SE4All) partnership. The SE4ALL remit includes supporting universal access
to energy and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix but it lacks a
bridge to financing mechanisms. Universal access costs are estimated at US$20
billion annually to 2030. These costs could be co-financed by African governments
and the wider international community in the form of concessional development
finance, supplemented by aid. The SE4All governance framework would be reformed
to require governments to submit comprehensive national action plans setting out
strategies for universal access, with an understanding that credible plans will secure
an appropriate mix of financing for their implementation. SE4All financing would help
support innovative business models delivering affordable off-grid energy through risk
and credit guarantees, subsidized loans and electricity-purchase agreements.
Unlock private finance. Development finance could play a more catalytic role
through increased risk-guarantee provisions and strengthened coordination between
international financial institutions, development finance agencies and bilateral donors.
The World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) should lead an international
effort to unbundle risk, structure guarantees and align Africa’s risk premium with market
realities. The exercise should aim also at reducing the transaction costs associated
with financing energy projects. Risk instruments such as the World Bank’s Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and foreign-currency risk mechanisms should be
scaled up.
Strengthen the role of AfDB and World Bank financing. Development finance
agencies, the World Bank and donors should commit US$10 billion to the capitalization
of the Africa ‘50’ Fund of AfDB, which has the potential to leverage up to US$100
billion in private finance.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
More African governments should be drawing on the World Bank’s non-concessional
borrowing windows, taking advantage of low interest rates to finance energy infrastructure.
Overhaul the climate finance architecture: Africa is poorly served by the current
climate-finance architecture. The separate multilateral agencies offering facilities
to support adaptation should be merged into a single Transformative Adaptation
Facility, perhaps under the auspices of the Green Climate Fund. Facilities for
mitigation finance and support mechanisms for low-carbon development – notably
the Clean Technology Fund and the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income
Countries Programme – should be structured to be more responsive to Africa’s
mitigation potential and the opportunities to back low-carbon development. The
broader concern is that the increasingly fragmented global financing architecture
is doing little to provide strategic direction in leveraging private investment.
Demonstrate serious intent at the Addis Ababa Financing for Development Summit
in July 2015: The summit provides an opportunity to make a down-payment on
strengthened international cooperation and build a bridge to the Paris climate summit:
• Aid donors should commit to the longstanding target of devoting 0.7 per cent of
gross national income (GNI) to aid.
• Rich countries should set a clear timetable for delivering by 2020 the
outstanding US$70 billion per annum in climate finance, which they committed
to in Copenhagen, with greater transparency on financial commitments, the
identification of new sources of finance and delivery mechanisms.
• A US$15 billion annual commitment to climate-resilient development in Africa,
including financing for a transformative adaptation.
• Increase by US$10 billion the development finance available to Sub-Saharan
Africa for mitigation through the Clean Technology Fund, Green Climate Fund and
other mechanisms.
• Increase the capitalization of the Green Climate Fund to US$20 billion, subject to
stringent performance requirements.
Phase out fossil fuel subsidies: The three 2015 summits should aim at a comprehensive
phase-out of all fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, with appropriate support for low-income
countries. Eliminating subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration and production – especially
coal – should be a priority. Developed countries should withdraw by 2018 all tax
concessions, royalty relief and fiscal transfers, and all state aid to fossil-fuel industries
by 2020. The G20 countries should set a timetable for acting on their commitment to
phase out fossil-fuel subsidies, with early action on coal.
Raise the level of ambition at the Paris climate summit: Developed countries should
establish carbon budgets aimed at zero net emissions by 2050, with clear interim
benchmarks to 2030. The European Union and the United States should revise their
initial INDC offers in line with this commitment. Countries should move towards early
implementation of credible carbon pricing and taxation systems, linked to carbon budgets.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Redouble efforts to combat tax evasion: In 2012, Africa lost US$69 billion from illicit
financial flows. G8 and G20 countries must act on past commitments to strengthen
tax-disclosure requirements, prevent the creation of shell companies and counteract
money laundering. Implementation of the G20/OECD’s planned actions on base
erosion and profit shifting should be accelerated; and the international community
should support African efforts to strengthen tax and customs administration and reduce
illicit financial outflows, especially via trade misinvoicing. Other priority actions to
mitigate illicit financial flows include public registries of beneficial ownership of
companies and, with the assistance of the IMF, agreeing on how to define, measure
and track such flows, especially trade misinvoicing.
For private investors and multinational companies:
Demand an ambitious Paris climate agreement: The business community should
work with cities, municipal and regional authorities, civil-society organizations and
governments to demand an ambitious Paris climate agreement, backed by carbon
pricing and taxation. All companies should establish and publish a “shadow price” for
carbon in their company accounts.
Accelerate the exit from carbon through divestment: Institutional investors should urgently
review their portfolios with a view to progressively eliminating carbon-intensive assets,
starting with equity stakes in coal. Regulatory authorities, investors and stock exchanges
should require companies and institutional investors to fully disclose the carbon exposure
of their assets. The World Business Council on Sustainable Development should review
and report upon the misleading claims made by multinational mining companies with
respect to the benefits of coal for reducing poverty.
Engage with governments to identify the conditions for increasing investment in energysector infrastructure and lead the development of new low-carbon energy partnerships.
Drive innovation for greater access: Energy investors should develop innovative
business models aimed at lowering market-entry costs for electricity and the costs
of efficient cooking-stoves. Working with governments, banks and aid donors, they
should seek to broaden and deepen emerging mechanisms, such as pay-as-you-go
financing, mobile payments, extended repayment periods and low-interest credit, to
serve the “bottom of the pyramid” market. Given the limited ability of poor households
to meet maintenance costs, governments should link public support to the provision of
post-installation servicing.
Stop the secrecy: Foreign investors and African companies should provide full
disclosure of their beneficial ownership structures and report transparently on energyrelated contracts, including electricity off-take arrangements. Multinational corporations
must also recognise that the tax and transparency revolution continues to move ahead
at a rapid pace. New G20/OECD reporting standards for multinational companies
will require companies to report on their activities more transparently. Companies that
keep up with the pace of change are more likely to be able to influence the changes.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
INTRODUCTION
“It always seems impossible until it’s done,” Nelson Mandela once said. He was
reflecting on the struggle to overturn apartheid, but his words have a powerful resonance
in 2015. This year global leaders will settle on a new set of sustainable development
goals, hold a summit on financing for those goals and frame an agreement on climate
change. The challenges are immense. To eradicate poverty, create jobs and sustain
growth while limiting greenhouse gas emissions, we must fundamentally realign the
energy systems that drive our economies with the ecological systems that define
our planetary boundaries. The consequences if we fail are beyond estimation. Yet
alongside the risks this is a moment of great opportunity for Africa and the world.
“The Africa Progress Panel
Report highlights very important
continent-wide energy issues
that must be solved if all
African countries must benefit
from their potential.”
Low-carbon energy systems are at the heart of the opportunity. Climate change raises
immensely complex financial, technological and political problems, all of which point
towards a single solution. Over the next few decades, governments have to break the
link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. Making the transition to
a low-carbon future is an imperative for the well-being of future generations. It is also an
opportunity to develop green energy strategies that can underpin growth, job creation and
shared prosperity.
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
President of Liberia
African leaders have rightly highlighted the immense risks associated with climate change,
but insufficient attention has been directed to the opportunities. No region has more
abundant or less exploited low-carbon energy resources. Harnessed to the right strategies,
these resources could resolve two of the most critical development challenges facing Africa:
power generation and connectivity. Renewable energy could do for electricity what the
mobile phone did for telecommunications: provide millions of households with access to a
technology that creates new opportunities (See infographic: The energy leapfrog).
Some countries in the region are emerging as global leaders in climate-resilient, low-carbon
development. The world as a whole stands to gain from Africa avoiding the carbon-intensive
pathway that has been followed by today’s rich countries, China, India and other emerging
markets. Policies to advance climate-resilient, low-carbon development are first and foremost
the right policies for Africa. Increased agricultural productivity, land conservation, the
development of renewable energy and low-carbon transport systems have the potential
not only to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions, but also to reduce poverty, support
economic growth and improve people’s lives.
Energy provides the link between climate action and efforts to reduce poverty.
Dependence on biomass for fuel contributes to land degradation and loss of forestry
resources. The energy crisis is part of a vicious circle that is jeopardizing Africa’s
prospects for eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
that are to be agreed this September.
Climate risks reinforce the vicious circle. Africa has made the smallest contribution to global
warming but it is experiencing the earliest and most damaging impacts of climate change.
Governments around the world have pledged to limit global warming to less than 2˚C
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
THE ENERGY LEAPFROG
African countries need energy strategies that drive growth, and reduce energy
poverty, while transitioning to a low-carbon economy
With the region experiencing some of the earliest, most severe and damaging climate impacts,
African leaders have every reason to support international efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions
Energy rich countries
have put the world on a
DANGEROUS
HIGH-CARBON
TRAJECTORY
Share of total C02 emissions from the
consumption of energy
EU-27
US
16%
China
25%
CO2 emissions
12%
leapfrog
Africa accounts
for only
2.3%
of global C02
emissions
Africa’s energy systems can
leapfrog onto low-carbon
pathways where renewables
replace fossil fuels
Africa could become
the global leader
in low-carbon
development
Energy production
29
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
above pre-industrial levels. Delivering on that pledge will require concerted action. We are
currently on a trajectory that will raise average temperatures by 4˚C and set the scene for
unprecedented reversals in human development in the second half of the 21st century.
So great are the energy challenges and so severe the climate risks that it is easy to
lose sight of the opportunities. Increasing power generation and accelerating progress
towards energy for all could transform productivity in agriculture and industry, driving
growth and creating jobs. Providing every African household with access to affordable
electricity and clean cooking facilities would boost efforts to reduce poverty and create
new market opportunities for investment.
These are not idle ambitions. The Global Commission on Economy and Climate,
headed by Felipe Calderón, the former president of Mexico, has documented the
potential that renewable technologies could unleash. The world is on the cusp of a
green energy revolution. Africa has some of the world’s most abundant and least
utilized renewable energy assets and is well placed to join that revolution. Through the
African Union Assembly, governments have pledged their political will at the highest
level to accelerating the deployment of renewable energy. The focus now is on the
honouring of commitments. We have not yet built two-thirds of the energy infrastructure
that will be in operation by 2030 and investment decisions made today could lay the
foundations for a competitive low-carbon energy system.
The idea that countries in Africa have to choose between low-carbon development and
economic growth is becoming increasingly anachronistic. Making the early investments
needed to support a low-carbon transition has the potential to boost growth and expand
power generation. However, realism is required. Recommendations that Africa abandon
fossil fuels in favour of a leap into renewable energy are unrealistic. Fuels such as coal will
represent a shrinking share of the region’s energy portfolio. The smart money for the future
is on natural gas and green-energy sources. But African governments are rightly concerned
by the double standards of some aid donors and environmental groups who, having
conspicuously failed to decarbonize their own energy systems, are urging Africa to go
green at an implausibly rapid rate.
An energy revolution is already under way. In this report we document the extraordinary
changes taking place. Utilities are being reformed, independent power providers have
emerged as a dynamic new force and companies have developed innovative new business
models to reach people who are not yet connected. Renewable energy sources are
bringing light to rural communities living far beyond the grid. Planned urbanization could
take the energy revolution to the next level through investment in low-carbon transport and
energy provision.
The reforms need to be deepened. As a priority, governments should be converting the
US$21 billion wasted annually on energy subsidies into productive investment. They should
also be attaching far more weight to equity, giving everyone an equal opportunity to obtain
energy. Africa’s energy systems have been designed and operated to provide subsidized
power to small, predominantly urban elites, with scant regard for the poor. Unequal access
to energy has reinforced the wider inequalities linked to wealth, gender and the rural-urban
divide that have accompanied the economic growth of the past 15 years. Yet here, too,
there are encouraging signs of change.
30
So great are the energy
challenges and so severe the
climate risks that it is easy to
lose sight of the opportunities.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
As well as posing risks, climate change provides Africa with opportunities to play a global
leadership role. Several countries are pioneering climate-resilient growth strategies that hold
out the prospect for “triple-win” scenarios. To take one example, explored in more detail in
the report, restoring degraded land and preventing deforestation could increase agricultural
productivity, cut poverty and reduce Africa’s contribution to global warming. One-fifth of
global emissions associated with land-use changes originate in Africa and cutting these
emissions is vital to international efforts aimed at avoiding dangerous climate change.
Responsibility for seizing the opportunities associated with energy and climate rests primarily
with African governments. These governments will be answerable to their citizens – and to
future generations – for the decisions they make at this critical juncture. This report, which is
based on extensive discussions with energy planners and climate negotiators, sets out what
the Africa Progress Panel sees as some of the priorities for national governments.
National responsibility does not detract from the critical role of international cooperation.
The summits planned for 2015 provide opportunities for Africa and the world to forge new
partnerships. In September, global leaders will gather at a UN summit to agree on a set of
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Before that, in July, governments will meet at the
third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to
set out a comprehensive financing framework for the goals. The global climate negotiations
in Paris at the end of the year are charged with framing a successor to the Kyoto Protocol
and a multilateral agreement for avoiding dangerous climate change.
As well as posing risks, climate
change provides Africa with
opportunities to play a global
leadership role. Now, as never
before, Africa must be part of
an international community that
delivers multilateral solutions
to shared global problems. It
is time to move the debate
on Africa and international
cooperation well beyond the
restrictive confines of aid.
Each of these agendas is intertwined with the others. Agreeing to an ambitious set of
SDGs without putting in place an appropriate financing strategy is a prescription for failure.
Similarly, adopting bold targets on climate change without strategies for financing the
necessary low-carbon infrastructure will lead to failure. Conversely, success at the Addis
Ababa summit could set the scene for a breakthrough at the Paris climate summit.
Effective international cooperation will transform what is possible in Africa. Increased support
for investment in renewable energy and more sustainable land use could greatly expand
the scope for development of low-carbon energy, forest conservation and the restoration of
degraded land. Reforming a hopelessly fragmented, underfinanced and poorly governed
set of climate-finance institutions could enhance Africa’s prospects for managing climate risk
and delivering energy for all.
International cooperation is a two-way street. African governments are approaching the
2015 summits and wider dialogue on energy and climate with a clear agenda that reflects
the region’s capacity for leadership. Now, as never before, Africa must be part of an
international community that delivers multilateral solutions to shared global problems. The
Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda provides a useful basis
for this engagement.1 It is time to move the debate on Africa and international cooperation
well beyond the restrictive confines of aid.
Confronted by challenges of the magnitude of those associated with Africa’s energy crisis
and climate change, it is easy to slip into fatalism. Yet fatalism is a luxury that Africa and
the world cannot afford. The tasks ahead are daunting. Turning the principles of sustainable
development into practical national policies and multilateral cooperation may seem
impossible.
But it always seems impossible until it’s done.
31
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
32
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
01
−
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
−
AFRICA’S ENERGY
IMPERATIVE
33
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
“We shall make electric light so cheap that only the wealthy can afford to burn
candles,” said Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, one of the breakthrough
technologies that unlocked the transformative power of energy for human development.
That was in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Today, in the first quarter of the 21st century, most Africans have yet to experience
the benefits of modern energy, including the light bulb. Viewed from the world’s
most affluent countries, it is easy to lose sight of the role that energy has played in
development.2 Affordable and reliable electricity underpins every aspect of social and
economic life.
Countries that are able to meet the energy needs of their citizens are wealthier, more
resilient and better able to advance human development. It is no coincidence that
power generation, access to energy, wealth and human development are closely
associated. While there is no single pathway to the high-energy systems that undergird
development, universal access to affordable energy in sufficient quantities should be
at the centre of any agenda for economic transformation, human development, justice
and dignity.
The energy imperative is increasingly recognized.3 The UN Secretary General’s
Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, launched in 2011, sets a target of universal
access to energy by 2030, with a doubling of the share of renewables in the global
energy mix. African energy ministers endorsed that target in 2012 (Box 1). The post2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have now put energy on the wider
international development agenda, targeting “universal access to affordable, reliable,
sustainable and modern energy services”, as Goal 7, by 2030.4
Africa is far from being on track to achieve this goal. While there are marked variations
across countries, the overall region has an energy crisis that demands urgent political
attention. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 645 million Africans
could still lack access to electricity in 2030. Underpinning this gloomy prognosis is a
set of widely held assumptions captured in a report on African energy prospects by the
BOX 1 SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL – A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
Launched in 2011 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the SE4All by 2030 initiative has the potential to
become a game changer for Africa. The initiative aims at supporting national governments and developing
public–private partnerships on clean energy in a range of action areas, including grid infrastructure, large-scale
renewable power, mini-grid and micro-grid solutions, transport and clean-cooking. Underpinning the SE4All
framework are four ‘enabling’ interventions: energy planning for high-impact opportunities, business model
innovation, finance and risk management, and capacity-building.
34
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Some 42 Sub-Saharan African countries are members of SE4All. Around 20 countries have carried out national
assessments to identify opportunities for renewable energy development. The SE4All partnership was instrumental
in securing a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) on energy, backed by a target for 2030, “to ensure
universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services” through enhanced national action and
international cooperation. Increasing the share of renewable energy in national grids is an integral part of the
SDG pledge.5
McKinsey Global Institute: “Reaching the target of sustainable energy for all – universal
access – by 2030 is unlikely, given availability of financing, political will, and the sheer
magnitude of effort required.”6
While recognizing the evidence for such pessimism, the Africa Progress Panel
categorically rejects this conclusion. Financing and political will are not fixed parameters.
Many countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, have demonstrated
that it is possible to accelerate progress towards universal energy access.7 In Africa,
countries as varied as Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa are showing
that rapid advances are achievable, with political leadership. The AfDB is also more
sanguine, noting that around half of the needed finance is already available.8 The
bottom line is that Africa cannot afford a low level of ambition.
Restricted access to energy is at the heart of concerns over equity raised in earlier Africa
Progress Reports. Over the past 15 years, Africa has moved into the fast lane of global
economic growth but that growth has often failed to reduce poverty, create jobs and
improve people’s lives. High levels of inequality are part of the problem and unequal
access to energy has reinforced the deep social divides between rich and poor, and
between urban and rural areas.
The Africa Progress Panel views the advancement of universal access to energy as a
core responsibility for every government in Africa. Only the public sector can mobilize
resources on the necessary scale, provide an effective legislative framework and create
the conditions under which private investment can play a role in financing energy
infrastructure. With effective leadership, Africa’s governments can create a virtuous
circle of increased energy access, rising incomes and a more equitable distribution of
opportunity.
With effective leadership,
Africa’s governments can
create a virtuous circle of
increased energy access, rising
incomes and a more equitable
distribution of opportunity.
Africa cannot afford a low level
of ambition.
This part of the report is divided into three sections:
•
Disconnected Africa looks at the scale of current energy deficits and their social,
economic and human consequences. It concludes by examining prospects for
achieving the goal of energy for all by 2030.
•
Opportunity Africa maps the region’s vast untapped potential for generating
affordable energy. It also looks at positive examples of what is going on in Africa,
including emerging delivery and financing models.
35
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
•
Africa’s energy transformation highlights the wave of investment, innovation and
reform that is reshaping energy policy across the region.
DISCONNECTED AFRICA
In September 2015, governments from Africa will gather with the rest of the international
community at the United Nations to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a
new set of international development targets. These ambitious targets include eradicating
poverty, eliminating avoidable child deaths, universal secondary education, more inclusive
growth, gender equity and sustainable land-use. Africa’s energy deficits could hold back
progress in all of these areas.
Mind the gap – the energy deficit is large, and growing
Distance from the goal of energy for all can be measured by looking at: how much power
generation capacity there is, how much power people use (consumption) and whether
people can actually obtain electricity and modern fuels (access). Whatever the measure,
Africa is the world’s most energy-deficient region.
Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of electricity. Installed grid-based capacity is
around 90 gigawatts (GW), which is less than the capacity in South Korea where the
population is only 5 per cent that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, South Africa alone
accounts for around half of power-generation capacity. With 12 per cent of the world’s
population, the region accounts for 1.8 per cent of world capacity for generating
electricity and the share is shrinking.9
Installed capacity figures understate Africa’s energy deficit. At any one time, as much
as one-quarter of that capacity is not operational. In terms of real output, South Korea
generates over three times as much electricity as Sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 1). As such
comparisons suggest, most of the region’s grids operate on a very small scale. Around 30
countries in the region have grid-connected power systems smaller than 500 megawatts
(MW), while another 13 have systems smaller than 100MW. For purposes of comparison,
a single large-scale power plant in the United Kingdom generates 2,000MW.
It is not just comparisons with the rich world that highlight the gap. Nigeria has almost twice
as many people as Vietnam but generates less than one-quarter of the electricity that Vietnam
generates. The disparity within Africa is equally marked. South Africa consumes nine times
more energy than Nigeria, despite having just one-third of the population (Figure 2).
In marked contrast to other developing regions and emerging markets, strong economic
growth has not led to an energy transformation (Figure 3 and Figure 4). Over the past
10 years, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP has increased by 5 per cent to 6 per cent annually.
The tide of wealth is rising but per capita use of electricity has stagnated. Nigeria has
outperformed India on economic growth and produces almost as much economic output
per person. Yet India’s consumption per capita remains significantly higher than that of
Nigeria.
36
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 1 THE ELECTRICITY GAP: TOTAL ELECTRICITY NET GENERATION
SELECTED SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICAN COUNTRIES
SELECTED COUNTRIES
1600
30
1400
1200
25
1,052
20
1000
TWh
27
800
15
538
600
500
400
12
10
239
200
5
156
0
3
7
6
0
India
Brazil
South
Korea
South
Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
excluding South
Africa
Uganda
Tanzania
Ethiopia
Zambia
Nigeria
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Generation.
FIGURE 2 UNEQUAL SHARES: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA’S GRID IS DOMINATED BY SOUTH AFRICA
100
90
80
70
2%
2%
2%
13%
7%
Percent
60
50
40
9%
7%
63%
Malawi
Cameroon
Mauritius
Kenya
Senegal
Zimbabwe
Uganda
DR Congo
Botswana
Sudan and South Sudan
Namibia
Zambia
Tanzania
Ghana
Côte d’Ivoire
Mozambique
Angola
Nigeria
Ethiopia
South Africa
30
20
23%
10
7%
0
Share of total electricity net
consumption
(TWh)
Share of total population
Data sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption. The World Bank Group. (2012).
World Development Indicators: Population.
37
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
The weak linkage between economic growth and power generation highlights a distinctive
public policy challenge. In the manufacturing sector, capital costs might be written down
over 10 to 15 years. In the case of power generation, the up-front capital costs are very
high, the lifetime of the plant is typically 40 years or more, and returns have to be secured
over a far longer time horizon. Perhaps more than in any other sector, one of the conditions
for private investment in the energy sector is the creation of an enabling environment through
public regulation.
Total electricity net generation per capita (kWh)
FIGURE 3 THE ELECTRICITY GENERATION GAP BETWEEN AFRICA AND OTHER REGIONS IS
WIDENING
3000
Sub-Saharan Africa
excluding South Africa
2500
Sub-Saharan Africa
South Asia
2000
East Asia and Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
1500
1000
500
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Generation.
FIGURE 4 ECONOMIC GROWTH IS NOT TRANSLATING INTO UNIVERSAL ELECTRICITY GENERATION
Sub-Saharan Africa
(developing only) GDP per
capita (current US$) Index
600
Sub-Saharan Africa
(developing only) Total
electricity net generation
per capita (kWh) Index
Index (2000=100)
500
400
South Asia (developing only)
GDP per capita (current US$)
Index
300
South Asia (developing only)
Total electricity net generation
per capita (kWh) Index
200
East Asia and Pacific
(developing only) GDP per
capita (current US$) Index
100
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Generation.
38
2012
East Asia and Pacific
(developing only) Total
electricity net generation
per capita (kWh) Index
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 5 MIND THE GAP: ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND SELECTED
COUNTRIES/REGIONS (kWh PER CAPITA, 2012)
Guinea Bissau 27.9
Swaziland
1,052.2
Comoros
55.7
Zambia
591.6
Sub-Saharan
Africa
Rwanda 31.8
excluding
South Africa
Burkina Faso
59.8
162
Niger
54.2 Benin
90.6
Côte d’Ivoire
238.4
Mozambique
447.7
Uganda
77.6
Brazil
France
6,868.5
Gabon
1,029
Zimbabwe
497.7
Liberia
66
Cabo Verde
577.4
2,433.8
Mali
59.4
Eritrea 46.3
Mauritania
253.5
Chad 15.3
Malawi
127.4
India
699.2
Guinea
78.8
Cameroon
255
Ethiopia
56.9
Central African Republic
37.1
Namibia
1,680.9
United States
12,209.7
Congo
170.6
South Africa
South Asia
607.7
4,047.3
Togo
146.9
Mauritius
1,914.5
Ghana
335.9
Kenya
153.4
Senegal
188.4
Nigeria
146.7
Botswana
1,603.3
United Kingdom
South Korea
5,010.4
9,646.7
Angola
232.5
Tanzania
95.1
Thailand
2,333.8
Latin America and the Caribbean
1,931.2
São Tomé and
Príncipe
321.3
Madagascar
84.4
Somalia 28.7
Lesotho
344.6
The
Gambia
122
Sudan
and South DR Congo
110.9
Sudan
164.8
East Asia and Pacific
1,285.6
Burundi 28.7
Sierra Leone 22.5
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption.
39
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Measured on a global scale, electricity consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa excluding
South Africa is pitifully low, averaging around 162 kilowatt hours (kWh) per capita
a year (Figure 5 and Figure 6). This is the lowest level of consumption for any
region. One-third of the region’s population lives in countries where annual electricity
use averages less than 100 kWh each. The global average consumption figure is
2,800kWh, rising to 5,700kWh in the European Union and 12,200kWh in the
United States. Electricity consumption for Spain exceeds that of the whole of SubSaharan Africa (excluding South Africa) (See infographic: Worlds apart).
To put the figures in a different context, 595 million Africans live in countries where
electricity availability per person is sufficient to only light a single 100-watt light bulb
continuously for less than two months (Figure 7). It takes the average Tanzanian around
eight years to consume as much electricity as an American uses in one month.
When American households switch on to watch the Super Bowl, the annual finale
of the football season, they consume 10 times the electricity used over the course of
a year by the more than 1 million people living in Juba, capital city of South Sudan.
FIGURE 6 HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? TIME REQUIRED TO USE 150kWh OF ELECTRICITY
(PER CAPITA ANNUAL AVERAGE FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA VERSUS SELECTED COUNTRIES AND
APPLIANCES, 2012)
961
1000
More than
2 years
900
800
700
600
Between 1
and 2 years
Days
500
373
400
300
200
142
150
188
1 year or less
63
100
4
11
United
States
United
Kingdom
0
Dishwasher,
drying cycle
(2hrs/day)
SubSaharan
Africa
52’’ceiling fan 100-watt
on high speed light bulb
(10hrs/day) (8hrs/day)
Nigeria
Data sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption.
The World Bank Group. (2012). World Development Indicators: Population.
40
Ethiopia
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
WORLDS APART
Viewed from Africa, energy use patterns in rich countries represent another universe
Spain
Spain’s total electricity net consumption:
243 Billion Kilowatthours
population:
47 million
Sub-Saharan Africa’s total
electricity net consumption
excluding South Africa:
139 Billion Kilowatthours
population:
860 million
A kettle boiled twice a day by a family in Britain
uses five times as much electricity as
a Malian uses per year
An Ethiopian takes 87 times longer to consume
150kWh than someone in the United Kingdom
MALIAN
CITIZEN
ETHIOPIA
KETTLE
BOILED
UNITED
KINGDOM
A Tanzanian takes 8 years to consume as much
electricity as an American consumes in one month
8
years
TANZANIA
USA
Range of time
1 month
961
days
11 days
A freezer in the United States consumes 10 times
more electricity than a Liberian, in one year
LIBERIAN
CITIZEN
AMERICAN
FREEZER
41
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Ethiopia, with a population of 94 million, consumes one-third of the electricity supplied
to the 600,000 residents of Washington D.C. Greater London consumes more
electricity than any country in Africa other than South Africa.
By international standards much of Africa’s energy infrastructure is dilapidated,
reflecting several decades of under-investment. According to the IEA, the average
efficiency of Sub-Saharan Africa’s gas-fired power plants is around 38 per cent.10
Similarly, most of Africa’s coal-fired power plants employ sub-critical technologies,
rather than the super-critical technologies that could generate far more electricity from
the same amount of fuel. Recent super-critical coal-fired power plants built in China
generate on average 30 per cent more electricity than those operating in Africa.
Economic growth has intensified pressure on Africa’s creaking energy infrastructure.
One symptom of that pressure is a boom in leasing of emergency power. Unable to
meet base-load demand through the grid, governments are turning to high-cost energy
providers using technologies designed to meet emergency needs.
Low levels of power generation are both a symptom and a cause of wider
development challenges. In part, Africa’s limited power generation is the product of
low average incomes. But it is also a contributory factor in keeping incomes low. In
that context, the widening energy gap between Africa and other regions is a matter
of concern. There is a very real sense in which today’s inequalities in energy are
tomorrow’s inequalities in economic growth, international trade and investment.
Access to electricity and clean cooking facilities is low and
unequal
Data on power generation and electricity use highlight the gap between Africa and
the rest of the world. But they do not capture the underlying inequalities in access
to energy. Average consumption figures understate the full extent of Africa’s energy
poverty for a simple reason: most Africans do not enjoy access either to electricity or to
non-polluting cooking facilities. On the current trajectory, the region is set to account for
a rising share of the world’s people who do not have access to modern energy (See
infographic: Africa’s energy gap - The costs of the divide).
Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s lowest coverage rates for modern energy. Two in
every three people, around 621 million in total, have no access to electricity. In the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Malawi and Sierra Leone, fewer than one
in 10 people have access to electricity. There are just 10 countries in Sub-Saharan
Africa with electricity access rates above 40 per cent (Figure 8). Another 17 countries
have electricity access rates of 20 per cent or less. There are around 20 countries
in the region with 10 million or more people lacking access to electricity (Figure 9).
Electrification rates are half the level in Asia.11
There is a striking contrast in many countries between energy potential and electricity
access. In Nigeria, a global oil-exporting superpower, 93 million people lack electricity.
42
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 7 THE AFRICAN LIGHTING LEAGUE TABLE: MONTHS OF LIGHTING THAT COULD BE
PROVIDED AT AVERAGE ANNUAL CONSUMPTION BY COUNTRY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
TOTAL POPULATION
COUNTRIES
(
= 10 million people
)
Chad
Sierra Leone
Guinea-Bissau
Burundi
Somalia
Rwanda
Central African Republic
Eritrea
Niger
Comoros
Ethiopia
Mali
Burkina Faso
Liberia
Uganda
Guinea
Madagascar
Benin
Tanzania
DR Congo
The Gambia
Equatorial Guinea
Malawi
Nigeria
Togo
Kenya
Sudan and South Sudan
Congo
Senegal
Angola
Côte d’Ivoire
Mauritania
Cameroon
São Tomé and Príncipe
Ghana
Lesotho
Mozambique
Zimbabwe
Cabo Verde
Zambia
Gabon
Swaziland
Botswana
Namibia
Mauritius
Seychelles
South Africa
Electricity consumption per person
(kWh, 2012)
0-50kWh
Less than 3 weeks of lighting a year
1 year
50-100kWh
Between 3 weeks and 1.5 months of lighting a year
1 year
100-150kWh
Between 1.5 and 2 months of lighting a year
1 year
150-200kWh
Between 2 and (less than) 3 months of lighting a year
1 year
200-260kWh
Between 3 and 3.5 months of lighting a year
1 year
260-500kWh
Between 3.5 and 7 months of lighting a year
1 year
≥500kWh
More than 7months of lighting a year
1 year
A 100 watt light bulb that is on for an hour consumes 100 watt hours or 0.1kWh.
For one day (24 hours), it consumes 2.4kWh.
For one week (168 hours), it consumes 16.8kWh.
For one month (30 days, 720 hours), it consumes 72kWh.
For one year (365 days and 8,760 hours), it consumes 876kWh.
Data sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption. The World Bank Group.
(2012). World Development Indicators: Population.
43
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
AFRICA’S ENERGY GAP:
THE COSTS OF THE DIVIDE
621
MILLION
Africans do not
have access to
electricity
60%
of SSA’s energy
is consumed by
South Africa
89
93
BILLION
MILLION
US dollars of
petroleum exported
by Nigeria in 2013
Nigerians
lack access to
electricity
4/5
600,000
OF THE POPULATION (727 MILLION)
rely on solid biomass, mainly fuelwood
and charcoal, for cooking
AFRICANS ARE KILLED EVERY YEAR
by air pollution caused by the use of solid
biomass for cooking
In 9 African countries, more than
In Africa, the poorest households spend
OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS HAVE
NO ELECTRICITY
MORE PER UNIT OF ENERGY THAN
THE WEALTHIEST HOUSEHOLDS
with a connection to the grid
On current trends, it will take Africa until
2080
TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY
44
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Emerging energy-exporting countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda each
have over 30 million people without electricity. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
could meet much of the entire region’s demand for electricity through hydropower
generation – but 60 million people in the country lack access to electricity.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s restricted access to energy cannot be attributed solely to low
incomes; policy choices and political leadership are critically important in shaping
access to modern energy. Per capita income in Bangladesh is one-fifth of the level in
Angola, for example, but rural Bangladeshis are eight times more likely to have access
to electricity than their Angolan counterparts. Nigeria has higher levels of average
income than Vietnam. But Vietnam has achieved near-universal access to electricity in
rural areas, while two-thirds of rural Nigerians have no access to electricity.
Clean, non-polluting cooking facilities are vital to reduce Africa’s death toll from
household air pollution but access to these is even more restricted than access to
electricity. Almost four in five people in Sub-Saharan Africa – 727 million – rely for
cooking on solid biomass, mainly fuel wood and charcoal.
The profile of biomass use varies across countries. In 42 countries, more than half
of the population uses biomass (Figure 10). Patterns of biomass use vary across
92%
95%
99%
FIGURE 8 AFRICA UNCONNECTED (ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY BY COUNTRY, 2012)
100
75%
77%
90
80
60%
70
50
40
32%
Percent
60
30
20
10
Mozambique
Zimbabwe
Comoros
Nigeria
Cameroon
Senegal
São Tomé and Príncipe
Bangladesh
Gabon
Botswana
Equatorial Guinea
Ghana
India
Southeast Asia
South Africa
Middle East
Latin America
North Africa
South Sudan
Liberia
Central African Republic
Chad
Sierra Leone
DR Congo
Malawi
Burundi
Guinea
Niger
Somalia
Madagascar
Uganda
Burkina Faso
Rwanda
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Mauritania
Ethiopia
Tanzania
Côte d’Ivoire
Zambia
Togo
Swaziland
Mali
Lesotho
Benin
Angola
Namibia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Eritrea
Congo
Sudan
The Gambia
0
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). World Energy Outlook: Electricity Access database.
45
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
100
93 Million
FIGURE 9 THE MISSING MILLIONS (POPULATION WITHOUT ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY, 2012)
80
70
60 Million
90
30
20
10
1.2 Million
40
10 Million
50
31 Million
Million
60
Nigeria
Ethiopia
DR Congo
Tanzania
Kenya
Uganda
Madagascar
Mozambique
Niger
Côte d’Ivoire
Angola
Malawi
Burkina Faso
Chad
Mali
South Sudan
Zambia
Guinea
Cameroon
Rwanda
Burundi
Somalia
Zimbabwe
South Africa
Benin
Ghana
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Central African Republic
Eritrea
Liberia
Mauritania
Congo
Namibia
Lesotho
Guinea-Bissau
The Gambia
0
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). World Energy Outlook: Electricity Access database.
urban and rural areas. Over 90 per cent of rural households in Mali, Mozambique
and Tanzania rely on firewood and straw for cooking. Urban households have more
diverse sources of fuel. While firewood and straw figure prominently, charcoal and
kerosene are also widely used.
What are Africa’s prospects for achieving the target of universal access to modern
energy by 2030? On a “business-as-usual” trajectory, they are non-existent. Population
growth exceeds the rate at which access to electricity and clean cooking facilities is
increasing. In both areas Africa’s share of the global deficit is rising.
According to IEA scenarios, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in which the
absolute number of people without access to modern energy is set to rise, by 45
million for electricity and 184 million for clean cooking stoves. With other regions on
a far more positive trajectory, by 2030 Africa’s share of the world’s population without
electricity will rise from 47.6 per cent to 66.6 per cent; and the share without clean
cooking facilities will rise from 26.3 per cent to 34.8 per cent (Figure 11).
On current trends, it will take Africa until 2080 to achieve universal access to
electricity. Universal access to clean cooking facilities would occur in around 150
years, sometime after the middle of the 22nd century.
46
Sub-Saharan Africa is the only
region in which the absolute
number of people without access
to modern energy is set to rise.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 10 LIVING WITHOUT MODERN ENERGY: HOUSEHOLD FUEL USE PATTERNS (SELECTED
COUNTRIES)
RURAL AREAS
URBAN AREAS
Rwanda
Firewood, straw
Charcoal
Sierra Leone
Kerosene
Malawi
Dung
Burkina Faso
No cooking in household
Mozambique
Electricity
Niger
LPG, natural gas
Other
Mali
Coal, lignite
Tanzania
Biogas
DR Congo
Liberia
Ethiopia
Zambia
Côte d’Ivoire
Nigeria
Kenya
Senegal
Congo
Angola
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
0%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Data source: The Demographic Health Survey Program. (2007 and after). STATcompiler: Type of cooking fuel.
People in rural areas will make up a bigger proportion of the population who do not
have access to modern energy sources. On the IEA scenario, by 2030 rural Africans
will account for two thirds of the global deficit in access to electricity and a third of
the population without access to clean cooking stoves.
Fortunately, current trends do not dictate the destiny of countries. The IEA scenarios
highlight the failure of current public policies, financial allocations, and business
models to serve the needs of the most disadvantaged people, especially those living
in rural areas. There are alternatives to these policies. The 2030 target is within
reach, but only if governments and the private sector create an enabling environment
that serves the interest of the poor.
47
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 11 THE RISING TIDE OF DISADVANTAGE: THE NUMBER OF AFRICANS LACKING ACCESS TO
MODERN ENERGY IS RISING
NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITHOUT
ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY
NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITHOUT
ACCESS TO CLEAN COOKING
1400
1200
3000
1000
2500
800
2000
2011
Million
Million
2030
600
1500
400
1000
200
500
0
0
World
India
Developing Sub-Saharan
Asia
Africa
excluding
South Africa
World
India
Developing Sub-Saharan
Asia
Africa
excluding
South Africa
AFRICA’S SHARE OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION WITHOUT ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY AND CLEAN COOKING FACILITIES
100
66.6%
75
50
47.6%
25
2011
2030
0
Percentage of people without access
to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa
34.8%
26.3%
2011
2030
Percentage of people without access to clean
cooking facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2013). Energy access projections to 2030.
The overarching condition for delivering on the energy for all commitment is to
strengthen the focus on inequality. Wealthy urban Africans and large commercial
farmers are not the ones who are getting left behind.
Across much of Africa, there is an energy fault-line running between rural and urban
areas. The overwhelming bulk of the region’s electricity grid is concentrated in urban
areas, while the vast majority of the population living without electricity, around 80
per cent of the total, live in rural areas. The gap is illustrated in (Figure 12).
48
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
While urban coverage rates are low in countries such as Malawi and Burundi, they
are still three times higher in urban than in rural areas. In countries with higher levels
of coverage, such as Tanzania and Kenya, urban populations are five times more
likely to have access to energy.
Across much of Africa, there
is an energy fault-line running
between rural and urban areas.
Urban-rural divides are reinforced by wider disparities (Figure 13). Coverage rates
in Kenya range from 90 per cent in Nairobi to less than 10 per cent in northern and
western areas.
While the urban advantage is a feature of Africa’s energy profile, the advantage
is partial. Electricity provision is heavily skewed towards high-income groups and
areas. Among the poorest 40 per cent of the population, coverage rates are well
below 10 per cent. Connection to the grid typically exceeds 80 per cent for the
wealthiest one-fifth of households. Residents of informal settlements have particularly
low coverage rates, in part because of household poverty; and partly because they
often lack the formal property titles needed to secure connections.12
FIGURE 12 AFRICA’S GRID GAP: RURAL POPULATIONS HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND (2012)
URBAN ADVANTAGE
100
Equatorial Guinea
90
80
Zimbabwe
São Tomé and Príncipe
Rwanda
Niger
60
The Gambia
Burkina Faso
Benin
Mozambique
Djibouti
Kenya
Uganda
Nigeria
Namibia
Mauritania
Angola
Zambia
Côte d’Ivoire
40
Sudan
Gabon
Lesotho
Mali
Congo
50
Botswana
Comoros
Tanzania
70
Urban electrification rate (percent)
South Africa
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Swaziland
Guinea-Bissau
Madagascar
30
Ghana
Senegal
Cameroon
Togo
Burundi
Somalia
Malawi
Guinea
DR Congo
20
Central Africa Republic
10
Chad
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
Liberia
RURAL ADVANTAGE
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Rural electrification rate (percent)
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). World Energy Outlook: Electricity access database.
49
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 13 CONNECTION TO ELECTRICITY IS HIGHLY UNEQUAL (ACCESS LEVELS FOR SELECTED
COUNTRIES AND LOCATIONS)
Urban
100
100
90
90
80
80
70
60
50
40
Ouagadougou
Urban
30
20
10
0
National
Centre-Ouest
Sahel
Rural
100
100
Yaoundé
Urban
90
Kinshasa
90
80
80
70
70
70
60
60
60
Sud
50
National
40
Nord Ouest
30
Hauts Bassins
Rural
National
20
10
50
50
40
Urban
Nord
Rural
Extrême-Nord
0
20
10
0
40
30
30
Centre-Ouest
Nord-Est
Nord
Rural
0
CAMEROON
DR CONGO
20
CÔTE D’IVOIRE
100
90
90
Nairobi
80
70
Urban
90
Bamako
80
80
70
70
70
Urban
60
60
60
60
Volta
50
50
50
50
40
Rural
40
40
40
30
20
10
10
0
0
GHANA
100
90
90
70
60
50
40
30
South-East
National
Nord Central
Nord West
Rural
Nord East
National
Rift Valley
Rural
Western
30
10
0
Dakar
Urban
30
20
National
Central
Rural
10
100
90
70
60
60
Dar es Salaam
60
50
Central
Rural
Tambacounda
Kédougou
Urban
40
30
30
20
10
10
0
0
0
20
Pemba South
National
Ruvuma
Rural
Dodoma
TANZANIA
Kampala
20
10
0
Niassa
Rural
Cabo Delgado
80
70
Urban
50
40
10
SENEGAL
80
Gaza
National
Nampula
MOZAMBIQUE
90
Town West
Matam
0
100
70
30
10
90
80
40
20
100
70
50
Rural
Mopti
Urban
30
MALI
80
National
National
Kayes
0
MALAWI
20
NIGERIA
Urban
20
KENYA
100
Urban
Sud-West
40
Coast
Maputo Cidade
80
50
80
Rural
100
60
Upper East
Tigray
National
Oromiya
ETHIOPIA
National
20
60
50
Lusaka
Urban
40
Central
National
Western
Rural
West Nile
Karamoja
UGANDA
Data source: The Demographic Health Survey Program. (2007 and after). STATcompiler: The Household has electricity.
50
30
10
100
30
Dire Dawa
40
0
90
Upper West
Urban
50
10
100
Ashanti
60
Centre-Est
National
National
Nord-Kivu
Orientale
Addis Abeba
70
20
90
70
80
Katanga
100
80
Urban
90
Rural
BURKINA FASO
Greater Accra
Urban
100
Abidjan
30
20
10
0
National
Southern
Central
Northern
Luapula
Rural
ZAMBIA
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Lack of modern energy is holding back development
The consequences of energy deficits have yet to register with sufficient force on the policy
agendas of Africa governments. The same is true of the wider international community.
Energy did not figure in the Millennium Development Goals, for example. While that
omission has been partially corrected in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals,
there is an abiding sense in which power generation is seen as a peripheral concern, in
contrast to priorities in areas such as education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.
It is difficult to think of a more misplaced perception. Without universal access to energy
services of adequate quality and quantity, countries cannot sustain dynamic growth, build
more inclusive societies and accelerate progress towards eradicating poverty. Productive
uses of energy are particularly important to economic growth and job creation. Energy
services directly affect incomes, poverty and other dimensions of human development,
including health and education.13 Expanded energy provision is associated with rising
incomes, increased life expectancy and enhanced social well-being.
This association can be illustrated by reference to comparison across countries. Countries
that generate less than 1,000kWh electricity per capita are heavily concentrated in the
low-income segment of national wealth distribution. Only a handful of countries with
electricity consumption of less than 2,000kWh have reached middle-income status.
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are heavily concentrated in the low-income and lowenergy segment of the global distribution (Figure 14).
Looking beyond wealth to social well-being, as measured by the Human Development
Index (HDI), underscores the importance of energy. The index is a composite indicator of
health, education and living standards. Sub-Saharan Africa overwhelmingly dominates
a group of countries that combine low levels of energy consumption with low human
development (Figure 15).
One word of caution is in order. Association is not causation. The relationships charted
in Figures 14 and 15 operate in both directions. As countries get richer they are better
able to expand the supply of energy, which in turn fuels further growth. However the
strength of the association is striking. Failure to expand energy provision from the low levels
now evident in Africa can only perpetuate low incomes and poor human development
outcomes.
This observation has a direct relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals. In the absence
of accelerated progress towards universal access to energy at far higher levels of provision,
none of these targets will be attained in Africa.
Companies pay a high price – and economic growth suffers
Energy powers machines that save time and increase productivity. Access to affordable
and reliable energy can help companies penetrate new markets, enable farmers to
diversify their income sources and support agro-processing industries that link agricultural
producers to national, regional and global markets.
Unfortunately, firms operating in Africa are served by some of the world’s highest-cost and
least reliable electricity providers. The average price of electric power in Sub-Saharan
Africa is far higher than in other developing regions.
51
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 14 HAND-IN-HAND: HIGHER INCOMES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF ENERGY
CONSUMPTION...
Kuwait
60000
Hong Kong
Netherlands
United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia
Germany
GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international US$)
Equatorial Guinea
Sweden
United States
Australia
United Kingdom
Canada
Finland
New Zealand
South Korea
Russian Federation
Gabon
Brazil
Maldives
South Africa
Indonesia
Sri Lanka
Ukraine
Bhutan
6000
Bolivia and Philippines
Vietnam
Uzbekistan
Nigeria
India
Ghana
Kyrgyz Republic
Tajikistan
Ethiopia
Mozambique
Malawi
600
0
4000
2000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
Total electricity net consumption per capita (kWh)
Data sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption.
The World Bank Group. (2012). World Development Indicators: GDP Per Capita, PPP.
FIGURE 15 ...AND SO ARE HIGHER LEVELS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
1
Switzerland
Netherlands
Hong Kong
Australia
United States
South Korea
Luxembourg
Lithuania
Cuba
0,8
New Zealand
Singapore
Ireland
United Kingdom
Italy
Cyprus
0,9
Human Development Index (HDI)
Denmark
Germany
Canada
Finland
Sweden
Qatar
United Arab Emirates
France
Kuwait
Bahrain
Mauritius
Sri Lanka
Kazakhstan
Gabon
0,7
Medium Human
Development
(0.549≤HDI<0.699)
China
Botswana
Cabo Verde
0,6
Namibia
South Africa
Low Human
Development
(HDI<0.549)
Bhutan
Swaziland
0,5
0,4
Mozambique
DR Congo
0,3
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
Total electricity net consumption per capita (kWh)
Data sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Consumption.
United Nations Development Programme. (2012). Human Development Index.
52
14000
16000
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
In addition, higher charges are imposed on firms than on households, an
arrangement which is designed to cross-subsidize the consumption of high-income
urban households. In many countries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) bear
the brunt of this cross-subsidization because high-voltage, large-scale commercial users
often secure concessions from utilities.
Tariff charges tell only part of the story. Power-generation capacity falls far short of demand
and supplies are unreliable. Every enterprise in Africa has to plan for regular power
outages. Frequent power cuts result in losses estimated at 6 per cent of turnover for large
firms and as much as 16 per cent for enterprises in the informal sector.14
Unreliable power supply has created a buoyant market in diesel-powered generators.
Around 40 per cent of businesses in Tanzania and Ethiopia operate their own generators,
rising to over 50 per cent in Kenya.15 In Nigeria, around four in every five SMEs install
their own generators.16 On average, electricity provided through diesel-fuelled back-up
generators costs four times as much as power from grid.17 Diesel fuel is a significant cost for
enterprises across Africa, even in less energy-intensive sectors such as finance and banking.
According to McKinsey, diesel fuel represents around 60 per cent of operator network costs
for mobile-phone operators.18
High cost and unreliable supply add to the cost of doing business in Africa, with
damaging consequences for economic growth, investment and tax revenues. The World
Bank has estimated the losses at 2-4 per cent of GDP.19 Lack of reliable and cost-effective
electricity is among the top constraints to expansion in the manufacturing sector in nearly
every Sub-Saharan country.20 Small and medium enterprises account for most of the job
creation but face particularly severe problems, with around half citing the high cost and
unreliability of supply as a barrier to enterprise development.
Lack of electricity reinforces the poverty trap
Restricted access to electricity has direct and damaging consequences for household
poverty. Africa’s poor typically pay higher unit costs for energy than the rich. This
is partly because the rich are subsidized, but also because the poor use inefficient
energy sources including batteries, candles, and charcoal.If the poor could use more
efficient energy sources they could reduce the share of income that they spend on
energy and free up resources for other priority areas. It could also reduce the amount
of time that women and girls spend collecting firewood and cooking.
Households across Africa, including very poor households, spend a significant share of their
income on energy. Data from 30 countries showed that the average share of household
spending directed to energy was 13 per cent.21 The poorest households typically spend
a larger share of their income on energy than richer households. In Uganda, the poorest
one-fifth allocated 16 per cent of their income to energy, three times the share of their richest
counterparts.
Women and girls spend a lot of time collecting firewood and cooking with inefficient
stoves. Factoring in the costs of this unpaid labour greatly inflates the economic costs that
come with Africa’s energy deficits. Estimates by the World Bank put the losses for 2010
at US$38 billion or 3 per cent of GDP.22
53
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Denied access to electricity, households are forced to turn to other sources of energy.
(Figure 16) provides a snapshot of how Africa’s poorest households light their homes.
One survey found that rural households were on average spending around US$57 a
year (2008 prices) on lighting alone.23 Kerosene is the most common source of lighting
but it is also one of the least efficient. On a unit-of-energy equivalent basis, kerosene is
150 times more expensive than even the least efficient incandescent bulb.24
Some of Africa’s poorest households are bearing the brunt of the losses associated
with energy inefficiency. Consider the case of rural Ethiopia, where more than 85
per cent of households rely on fuel-based sources for light, principally kerosene
supplemented by dry-cell batteries. On average, these households spend US$2
a month to secure three hours lighting a day. Scaled up to the national level, total
annual spending based on retail prices is around US$331 million. Halving these
costs would release funds for investment in education, health and other priorities.25
Most poor households cannot afford access to the grid. The region’s utilities charge
connection fees relative to household income that are among the highest in the world.
Charges range from over US$50 in Ethiopia to US$200 in Uganda and US$300-400
in Tanzania and Kenya (Figure 17 expressed as a percentage of monthly income).
Moreover, the connection fee does not take into account either the additional
associated charges such as value-added tax (VAT), security deposits and inspection
fees or the cost-escalation associated with distance from grid connection points.
FIGURE 16 HOUSEHOLD LIGHTING: DEVICES AND FUEL SOURCES (PERCENT)
Devices
Ethiopia
Ghana
Kenya
Tanzania
Zambia
Kerosene lamp with no cover
69
5
30
30
8
Kerosene lamp with cover
14
72
67
60
6
Firelight /moonlight
11
7
5
Torch
10
12
8
3
8
6
10
6
19
79
Light bulb in socket or lamp
Candles
Lantern (battery or solar)
Data source: The World Bank Group. (2015). Lighting Africa.
54
18
4
10
5
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
In Tanzania, increasing the distance from an existing power-distribution line from less
than 30 metres to 70 metres would increase the connection charge from US$297 to
US$871.26
Utilities around the world lower the connection barrier by reducing up-front costs through
subsidies and low-cost credit, or by incorporating connection costs into tariffs that are
paid over the long-term. Unfortunately, the most common practice in Africa is to require
up-front payment in full, effectively excluding all but the wealthiest households. This
is a “lose-lose” scenario: utilities lose customers and poor households lose access to
affordable energy.
FIGURE 17 THE ELECTRICITY COST BARRIER: ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY FALLS AS CONNECTION
CHARGES RISE
Tunisia
100
Thailand
Vietnam
Cabo Verde
90
Sri Lanka
80
Lao PDR
India
Ghana
70
National electrification rate
Philippines
Bangladesh
60
50
40
Sudan
30
Côte d’Ivoire
Zambia
Benin
Ethiopia
Mauritania
20
Kenya
Madagascar
Tanzania
Rwanda
Burkina Faso
Uganda
10
Central African Republic
0
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
Connection charge as percentage of monthly income
Data source: Golumbeanu, R and Barnes, D. (2013). Connection Charges and Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank, Washington, DC.
55
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Even if poor households could secure access to the grid, many would struggle to
afford tariff costs. The IEA has identified that urban households need a minimum
energy provision of 500kWh of electricity.27 Using the lowest cost tariff for each
country, Figure 18 expresses the cost of purchasing 500kWh of electricity from utilities
as a share of average income, around US$0.74 a day, of the 46 per cent of Africans
who live on less than US$1.25 a day.
The cost of meeting the threshold exceeded 40 per cent of income in around half
of the 30 countries covered, rising to 60 per cent in Zambia and 100 per cent in
Liberia.
Even with more progressive charging structures, national and regional electricity grids
will not reach all Africans by 2030. Urbanization provides opportunities to expand
provision for low-income households because of the economies of scale that come
with more dense concentrations of people. Rural electrification can also extend the
reach of grids. However, off-grid solutions will be required for more remote areas and
some of the poorest households. Renewable energy sources and innovative business
models are creating new opportunities for an energy breakthrough in this area.
83%
100%
100
90
60%
80
70
43%
60
50
20%
40
30
20
2%
10
56
Angola
Nigeria
Ethiopia
Guinea
Ghana
Botswana
Gabon
Cameroon
Mozambique
Lesotho
Côte d’Ivoire
Burundi
Zimbabwe
Kenya
Niger
Tanzania
Data source: Overseas Development Institute and Africa Progress Panel research (2015).
South Sudan
Uganda
Senegal
Mauritania
The Gambia
Togo
Chad
Benin
Zambia
Mali
Madagascar
Burkina Faso
Cabo Verde
0
Liberia
Share of annual income required to access 500kWh of electricity
for a person living on US$ 0.7 a day (percent)
FIGURE 18 MANY OF AFRICA’S POOREST HOUSEHOLDS WOULD BE UNABLE TO AFFORD A BASIC
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY (THE COST OF 500kWh OF ELECTRICITY AS A SHARE OF INCOME FOR THE
POOREST HOUSEHOLDS)
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Indoor air pollution is a hidden killer
Energy deficits harm Africans’ health by undermining health services. They also contribute
to one of Africa’s most virulent but least visible epidemics, death and illness from the
use of biomass fuels such as firewood and charcoal, a major source of household air
pollution (HAP) (Figure 19). Women and children are the primary victims.
These fuels are often smoky and typically used on open fires in poorly ventilated homes,
exposing people to carbon monoxide, toxic particulate matter and formaldehyde.
Similarly, smoky unvented wicks in simple lamps that burn kerosene and in candles can
result in substantial black carbon smoke emissions. Women and children face higher
levels of exposure because of the time they spend cooking and inside the home.28 The
poor suffer most: the less expensive fuel options they use are typically less efficient and
produce more smoke, elevating the health risks. Simple homes built with mud, thatch,
and animal skins rarely have a chimney and if there is a chimney it is usually a simple
vent with no flue to draw air.
FIGURE 19 AFRICA’S HIDDEN KILLER: DEATHS CAUSED BY HOUSEHOLD AIR POLLUTION FROM
SOLID BIOMASS COMPARED WITH OTHER RISK FACTORS
1.8
2004
2010
1.6
2030
1.4
Millions of deaths
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
Malaria
Tubercolosis
HIV/AIDS
Solid fuel cooking linked
to ALRI and COPD
Data source: The World Bank Group. (2012). State of the Clean Cooking Energy Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
57
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
The global human costs of HAP have been systematically underestimated. Recent
research has revealed far stronger relationships between biomass-related pollution
and respiratory tract infections, strokes, ischaemic heart disease, lung cancer and
obstructive pulmonary diseases.29
Africa is on the front line of the HAP epidemic. The World Health Organization
estimates that 600,000 Africans die each year as a result of it. Almost half are
children under 5 years old, with acute respiratory tract infection the primary cause
of fatality. If governments in Africa and the wider international community are serious
about their commitment to ending avoidable deaths of children, then clean cooking
facilities must be seen as a much higher priority. Put differently, achieving universal
access to clean cooking stoves, allied to wider measures, could save 300,000 young
lives a year.
Apart from saving lives, reducing the use of biomass by 50 per cent would save 60-190
million tonnes of CO2- equivalent emissions, as production and use of solid fuels for
cooking consumes over 300 million tonnes of wood annually in Sub-Saharan Africa.30
These wide-ranging benefits point to a compelling case for strengthened international
cooperation on the development and marketing of affordable clean-cooking stoves.
Unequal access to energy reinforces disparities in health and education
Restricted access to modern energy services undermines both health and education.
When health systems are unable to provide preventive and curative services, people
who are already vulnerable face heightened risks. And when shortages of electricity
hamper schooling, children lose a chance to gain the education they need to escape
poverty and build secure livelihoods.
Health systems depend heavily on reliable electricity for refrigeration for vaccines and
other medicines, sterilization, many medical instruments, lighting and the functioning
of operating theatres. Yet around one-quarter of health facilities reviewed in one of the
most comprehensive surveys available for Sub-Saharan Africa, covering 11 countries,
reported no access to electricity.31
Energy deficits may also be holding back progress in child health. Some 60 per
cent of the fridges used to store vaccines in Africa lack access to a reliable source of
energy, leading to high levels of wastage and higher delivery costs.32 In a region with
around 105 million children who have not been fully vaccinated, such energy shortfalls
can cost lives.
Energy poverty leads to educational disadvantage through many routes. While
there has been much attention to the real potential for new learning technologies in
education, there has been less recognition of some familiar energy-related problems.
Improved access to modern energy can mean more time for attending school and
lower risks of school dropout, particularly for school-age girls who can spend less time
collecting firewood. Providing electricity to schools can open new doors to learning for
boys and girls through information technologies.
58
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Lighting at home enables children to keep up with homework. Research shows
improved access to modern energy may boost school attendance.33 Most of Africa’s
schoolchildren attend classes without access to electricity. In Burundi, Guinea, Niger,
the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo over 90 per cent of primary schools lack
access to electricity (Figure 20).34
FIGURE 20 LIGHTS OUT FOR EDUCATION: THE SHARE OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS WITHOUT ACCESS TO
ELECTRICITY IN SELECTED COUNTRIES (2012)
Burundi
98%
Guinea
98%
Niger
95%
DR Congo
92%
91%
Togo
Malawi
88%
Burkina Faso
87%
The Gambia
83%
Cameroon
81%
Côte d’Ivoire
75%
Ghana
67%
Senegal
67%
Nigeria
65%
Eritrea
65%
Equatorial Guinea
64%
Rwanda
64%
Gabon
51%
0
20
40
60
80
100
Primary schools without electricity (percent)
Data source: UNESCO. (2012). School and Teaching Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.
59
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Unsustainable firewood and charcoal use is damaging the environment
The way energy is produced, distributed and consumed has a strong bearing on poverty
and on environmental resources. Reliance on biomass such as firewood and charcoal
without sustainable agro-forestry management can lead directly to land degradation and
deforestation, damaging ecosystems that play a vital role for vulnerable populations.
Biomass use links Africa to the global climate change debate, and we will return to this
issue in Part II of this report.
Solid biomass accounts for over two-thirds of Africa’s total energy consumption, higher
than for any other region. Cooking is the primary end use for biomass. Of the estimated
280 million tonnes of oil equivalent solid biomass currently used in Sub-Saharan Africa,
90 per cent is used as cooking fuel.35
Depletion and degradation of forestry resources is one by-product of dependence on
biomass. In contrast to Latin America and much of Asia, where timber and logging
activities account for over 70 per cent of forest degradation, in Sub-Saharan Africa the
main drivers of forest degradation are fuel wood collection and charcoal production,
with livestock grazing in forests playing a supplementary role. Deforestation significantly
increases the time that needs to be allocated for firewood collection, trapping women in
a cycle of rising labour demand and environmental degradation.36
The rapid growth of cities such as Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and Nairobi
has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of markets for charcoal, which is the cooking
fuel of choice for the urban poor, and deforestation.37
Efforts to regulate the charcoal trade have met with limited success. Bans on
production and trade of charcoal have increased the costs, fuelled corruption and,
in some cases, hurt poor households.38 The “win-win” scenario would see the market
regulated to promote conservation through demand management (in the form of taxes
on the charcoal trade, higher prices for wood and restrictions on cutting timber in some
zones) while creating incentives for more efficient charcoal kilns. Increased productivity
could have the twin effect of keeping down prices for poor urban households while
limiting pressure on forestry resources.
Power utilities and energy subsidies impose a heavy fiscal burden
As well as lost opportunities for human development and ecological degradation,
Africa’s energy systems lead to fiscal costs that have indirect – but profoundly
damaging – consequences for development. Misplaced policies are diverting
scarce budgetary resources towards highly inefficient practices, reducing the finance
available for investment, including universal access to energy.39
Much of the waste can be tracked through Africa’s power utilities, which are the target
of considerable public disquiet. The frequent power outages associated with the former
Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had earned the company the unwelcome
nickname “Please Have Candles Nearby”.40 The Electricity Company of Ghana,
the ‘state-owned utility distributor, is the focus of its own public protest movement.41
Tanzania’s state-owned energy provider TANESCO is at the centre of corruption
allegations. Meanwhile, power utilities continue to accumulate large debts, diverting
public finance from more productive purposes.
60
Much of the waste can be
tracked through Africa’s power
utilities, which are the target of
considerable public disquiet.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Behind the endless stream of bad news stories associated with power utilities are some
long-running systemic failures. Power utilities in Africa charge high tariffs but have been
unable to cover their costs and generate a surplus to finance maintenance and new
investment. On one estimate, Africa is losing US$8.2 billion annually through powersector inefficiencies associated with poor cost-recovery, the underpricing of electricity,
distribution losses and other factors.42
Part of the problem can be traced to under-investment in operations and maintenance.
Transmission and distribution losses average 18 per cent for utilities in Sub-Saharan
Africa, which is double the global average and well above the levels reported for
other developing regions. Uncollected revenue is another loss. The end result is that
revenues typically fail to cover costs, let alone generate a surplus for investment. In
Zambia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Niger, revenues cover only 40-50 per cent of historic
production costs.43
Reliance on emergency power adds to the vicious circle. Utilities experiencing power
shortages typically enter into short-term contractual arrangements with emergency power
providers who install new capacity, usually in the form of oil-fired generators. The leasing
terms are often onerous – and utilities have to meet the cost of oil imports. Generating
electricity through emergency power provision typically doubles the cost of electricity.
One recent example of the costs of under-investment and weak governance in the energy
sector comes from Ghana. Rising demand for electricity and supply-side constraints
associated with inadequate water levels in the country’s three hydropower plants,
frequent breakdown of equipment and transmission losses have led to frequent outages.
The government has responded by purchasing a fleet of emergency power barges from
General Electric and other suppliers, including Turkish firm Karadeniz Energy Group
(KEG), which will rent two floating power plants to produce 450MW of electricity for the
nation’s electricity grid. The 10-year contract with KEG will cost Ghana US$1.2 billion
and requires the government to create a US$100 million escrow account as a guarantee
against non-payment for electricity by the state utility distributor, Electricity Company of
Ghana. The terms of the agreement have generated political concerns in Ghana, with
critics claiming that the government has secured an unfavourable deal. It is clear that
emergency barges generate power at exceptionally high cost.
Another example is Tanzania. In 2011, Aggreko, one of the world’s largest suppliers
of emergency power, secured a US$37 million contract with the Tanzanian state
utility, TANESCO, to establish two 50MW diesel power plants in response to
hydropower shortages.44 Both plants are still in operation. In total, the company
is supply 1,000MW of power across 17 countries. What starts as an emergency
response invariably becomes a permanent facility for delivering high-cost base-load
power. Industry estimates suggest that the rental market for generators is growing
at 13 per cent a year, from a 2013 base of US$1.8 billion. Africa’s demand for
imported generators has created a fast-growing market for companies in China,
France and the United Kingdom.45
Power-sector utilities constitute a major fiscal burden for many countries. In 2010,
Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy utilities were operating with deficits estimated at 1.4 per
cent of regional GDP, some US$11.7 billion.46 This represented five times the level of
publicly financed investment in the energy sector. Utility deficits are so large in some
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
countries as to compromise fiscal stability. In Tanzania, a combination of reliance on
emergency power-generation, inefficiency and outright corruption left TANESCO, the
state energy provider, with debts so large that they have compromised the country’s
entire budget (Box 2). The direct 2015 budget costs of Senegal’s state provider
SENELEC are estimated at 2.8 per cent of GDP, which is more than the country
spends on primary education.47 In Burkina Faso losses associated with the state-owned
electricity company (SONABEL) and fuel importer (SONABHY) absorbed 10 per
cent of the 2013 budget, diverting expenditure from priorities.48 The government has
regularly supported debt forgiveness and the recapitalization of both companies.
Subsidies for electricity utilities represent a transfer from public funds to the small minority
connected to the grid and to the suppliers of the utilities. Almost the entire benefit is
captured by the wealthiest 20 per cent of the population.
Fiscal transfers to utilities also have wider ramifications. When governments take on utility
debts, they typically finance them through private-sector banks. This is often lucrative business
for the banks concerned but it prevents the banking system from directing savings towards
financing productive investment.49 It also sends negative signals to potential investors. In
effect, government debt financing for utilities crowds out private investment.
In addition to financing loss-making utilities, many governments subsidize kerosene.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the average subsidy applied to
kerosene and other oil-based products amounted to 45 per cent of its market price in
2013, or US$10 billion.50
The overall effect of subsidizing consumption of fossil fuels is to distort energy pricing,
incentivize overconsumption, deter investment in renewable energy, create unsustainable
fiscal costs and lock households and energy systems into inefficient fuel-use patterns that
perpetuate the underlying energy crisis.51
Energy subsidies have deep political roots, but reform is possible. Countries such as
Ghana, Niger and Kenya have adjusted policies to bring domestic prices into closer
alignment with international markets.52 Several important lessons have emerged from
the reform experience. In Ghana, the government carried out a detailed review of the
distribution of benefits from subsidies and communicated the evidence to the public. It
introduced new measures aimed at using savings from reducing subsidies to counteract
harmful effects on the welfare of the poor, including reducing fees for education
and increased spending on health. In Nigeria, reforms stalled in part because little
advance effort was made to prepare the ground or to compensate the poor. The
country’s experience illustrated a wider concern: although the country’s fuel subsidies
are ill targeted, removing them can incur substantial individual costs for poor people.
Low oil prices have helped create a renewed impetus towards reforming subsidies
on fossil fuels. Towards the end of 2014, Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo,
introduced legislation virtually eliminating the fossil-fuel subsidies that had been set to
absorb 10 per cent of budget spending. The savings have been earmarked for socialprotection programmes and infrastructure investment. India is also cutting subsidies. Both
governments rightly see transfers for fossil-fuel subsidies as a source of inefficiency and
inequality. Political leadership is needed to navigate subsidy elimination and effective
communication of the potential benefits can help to mobilize a constituency for reform.
62
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
BOX 2 INEFFICIENCY, CORRUPTION AND EMERGENCY POWER PROVISION IN TANZANIA
Tanzania’s state energy provider TANESCO has accumulated debts that are so large as to compromise the county’s
entire budget, forcing government to undertake painful fiscal adjustments. In 2012, transfers from the national
budget to cover losses amounted to 0.3 per cent of GDP. Non-payment of bills to power providers and other
suppliers amounted to another 1 per cent of GDP, undermining incentives for private investment in the process.
TANESCO’s operations contributed to one of Africa’s largest current account deficits and a deteriorating fiscal
deficit, which reached 6.8 per cent of GDP in 2012/2013.
Rising demand and under-investment in maintenance and operations has exacerbated power shortages. Outages
are especially common during the dry season as the water levels fall in reservoirs serving hydropower stations.
Reliance on emergency power provision has reinforced underlying economic problems. In 2013, TANESCO
was spending twice as much on emergency provision as it was receiving in revenue, adding to an already large
operating deficit. The company was forced to borrow US$250 million on commercial terms with a government
guarantee. It also received a direct budget transfer of US$220 million, financed by the World Bank and the African
Development Bank.
The most recent episode involves allegations over the irregular withdrawal of US$124m from an escrow account
jointly held by TANESCO and Power Tanzania Ltd. (IPTL), a company formed under a public-private partnership
agreement. A Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has raised concerns over the acquisition of IPTL from a
Malaysian company by a company called Pan Africa Power Solutions, through a British Virgin Islands connection
and linkages to a businessman prominent in Kenya.
The parliamentary committee has raised concerns over transfers from the escrow account into off-shore funds.
Payments include over US$70 million to one of Tanzania’s richest men. While several senior political figures have
been forced to resign, the committee’s investigations have run into a web of offshore accounts with unknown
beneficial ownership structures. Tanzania’s Revenue Authority (TRA) has called for Interpol to investigate.
Whatever the precise circumstances and scale of illicit payments, the diversion of resources from an energy
system unable to provide reliable power or to reach 7.2 million Tanzanians has been considerable. Ironically, the
parliamentary session during which the report was presented was disrupted by a power outage.53
In the case of Sub-Saharan African, the potential benefits are very significant. Redirecting
the US$21 billion of energy subsidies which currently enhances the welfare of the wealthy
into energy infrastructure, access to electricity and social protection could unlock major
gains. According to the IEA, the costs of achieving universal energy access for SubSaharan Africa are around US$20 billion per year.
Fixing Africa’s under-performing utilities is another urgent priority. By selling electricity to a
favoured middle class at prices that are less than the cost of production, utilities have been
unable to generate the revenues needed for investment in operations, maintenance and
new infrastructure. Transmission losses, a by-product of under-investment in maintenance,
raise the costs of generation and diminish revenues. Failure to collect fees is endemic.
Utilities need to generate an operational surplus in order to finance investment and cut
subsidies, which implies price levels sufficient to generate a margin. But in countries with
very low levels of average income, price increases can render electricity unaffordable.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Getting the balance right requires market pricing balanced with a strong commitment
to equity which is supported through regulation and public finance.
Part of the challenge is political. All too often utilities are viewed less as a mechanism for
delivering affordable energy for all than as sites of political patronage and rent-seeking.
Changing utility practices often implies a commitment to changing power relationships
and the politicization of utilities.
Market failures are undermining opportunities for investment and
poverty reduction
Viewed from an investment perspective, replacing existing fuels with modern energy
represents a widely neglected market opportunity. Access to modern energy systems
could cut household costs, with benefits for expenditure and investment in other areas.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 692 million people live on less than US$2.50 a day, 60 per
cent of them on less than US$1.25 a day. Assuming an average of five people per
household and an average monthly household expenditure of US$6 on energy, this
represents an annual market of US$10 billion (Figure 21).
The market does not serve the poor well. Translated into equivalent cost terms, Africa’s
poorest households are spending around US$10/kWh on lighting, or around 20
times the amount spent by high-income households with a connection to the grid.54
By comparison, the national average cost for electricity per kilowatt-hour in the United
States and is US$0.12 and in the United Kingdom US$0.15.55 A rural woman in
northern Nigeria spends around 60 to 80 times more per unit of energy consumed
than a resident of Manhattan or London. The same woman also spends some 30 times
more than the residents of high-income households with grid connections in gated
communities in Lagos.
Reducing energy costs would help break the poverty trap
Cutting the cost of energy could generate significant benefits for poor households.
Basic lighting can be provided through low-cost renewable technologies at prices as
low as US$1-2/kWh, implying cost reductions of 80-90 per cent.56
Similar savings are available for clean-cooking stove technologies. Just halving costs
would save US$5 billion for people living below US$2.50, or US$36 per household.
Plausible price reductions of 80 per cent would raise these figures to US$8 billion
overall, US$58 per household. Such savings could release income for investment in
productive activities, health and education, while at the same time increasing demand
for electricity.
It is not feasible to derive poverty-reduction effects from these figures as more detailed
household survey evidence would be required to identify the distribution of benefits.
However, there is considerable potential for energy savings to be converted into
reduced poverty. Cutting energy costs by the levels indicated in our exercise could lift
16-26 million people out of poverty.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 21 THE COSTS OF ENERGY AND POTENTIAL SAVINGS (HOUSEHOLDS ≥ US$1.25)
Population
(million) living
below the
poverty line
Number of
households
(million)*
Total expenditure for
lighting and cooking
(billion US$/year)**
≥1.25US$
416
83
Between 1.25 and 2.50US$
276
≥2.50US$
Poverty line
Total
Savings (billion US$/year) from
reducing the costs
With 50
percent
reduction
With 80 percent
reduction
6
3
4.8
55
4
2
3.2
692
138
10
5
8
1,384
276
20
10
16
* Assumption: Each household has five members
** Example: (83 million households X 6US$/month X 12 months) = 6 billion US$
Data sources: The World Bank Group. (2011). PovcalNet. Modi, V. (2004). Energy Services for the Millennium Development goals.
Viewed from a different perspective, current expenditure patterns represent a market
opportunity (See infographic: Africa’s billion dollar energy market). Flexible renewable
technologies, especially solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, have the potential to deliver energy
at lower unit costs than those now paid by poor households. Moreover, cutting costs
would unlock demand.
Providing households with a first step on the modern energy ladder through reasonable
access to electricity charged at US$1-2/kWh could increase electricity consumption
fourfold.57 Investors stand to gain from providing the energy sources that could substitute
for biomass and other products, and households stand to gain from lower prices.
An obvious question that arises is: “Why has the market not delivered change?” There
is no easy answer. Part of the problem is that poor households are unable to afford the
upfront capital costs of the technologies that could lower prices and generate savings
over the long run. This is a classic market failure that can be corrected through new
business models and more effective public policies. Another constraint is the difficulty
faced by firms in securing credit and equity for investments geared towards markets
characterized by limited purchasing power. Here, too, public policy and international
cooperation can make a difference, as we show in Part III.
Financing energy for all will take a step change in investment
Energy systems in Africa are chronically under-financed. About three-quarters of
government spending is allocated to operations and maintenance, leaving little scope
for investment in an expanded, more efficient and more equitable energy system.
Investment constraints also hold back opportunities for Africa to benefit from the wave
of innovation in renewable technology.
65
AFRICA’S BILLION DOLLAR ENERGY MARKET
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Reducing prices, increasing access, empowering households
Africa’s poorest people are paying among the world’s highest prices for energy per kWh
US$10
60-80 times
more
30 times
more
US$0.12
USA
US$0.15
UK
Poor
households in
Africa
Manhattan
resident
Woman in
rural northern
Nigeria
Lagos
Woman in
rural northern
Nigeria
US$10 billion
The amount spent on energy by Africans living on less than US$2.50 a day
The size of the energy market points to significant
opportunities for investment and household savings
Reducing energy costs
by investing in modern energy could
CREATE INVESTMENT
INCREASE HOUSEHOLD
OPPORTUNITIES
SAVINGS
66
REDUCE POVERTY
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
How big is the investment gap that has to be closed if Africa is to transform its energy
system? We can address the question by referring to IEA scenarios. These scenarios,
which we discuss in further detail below, are conservative. They assume a three- to
fourfold increase in power by 2040, taking into account investment in power plants
and transmission and distribution systems.
The IEA scenarios include some provision for expanding access but not for universal
access. We therefore supplement the investment costs included in the scenario by
making provision for the US$20 billion per annum that the IEA estimates is required
between 2015 and 2030 to achieve energy for all.58
Current spending on investment is around US$8 billion a year, or some 0.49 per cent
of GDP. Public financing accounts for around half of overall investment and Chinese
investment, public–private partnerships and concessional development finance cover
the rest. Covering the costs of investment in plant, transmission and distribution would
require an additional US$35 billion annually. Adding the full costs of universal access
would take another US$20 billion. The total investment gap of about US$55 billion
a year represents around 3.35 per cent of GDP (Figure 22). This figure does not take
into account spending on operations and maintenance.
FIGURE 22 AFRICA’S ENERGY FINANCING GAP: AVERAGE ANNUAL COST OF UNIVERSAL ACCESS
PLUS INCREASED POWER GENERATION
70
Achieving universal access
Power plants
60
Transmission and distribution
20
40
30
Financing Gap: US$ 55billion
50
21
20
22
10
0
Current average annual spending: US$
8 billion
Annual investment
required US$ billion, 2013
Notes: The estimates are based on an outcome mid-way between the IEA's New Policy and Africa Century scenarios
Data source: Derived from current investments and IEA scenario data.
67
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
OPPORTUNITY AFRICA
The region’s vast untapped energy potential
Africa’s energy systems stand at a crossroads. For countries across the region, this is
a moment of great opportunity. Two-thirds of the energy infrastructure that should be
in place by 2030 has yet to be built. Demand for energy is set to surge, fuelled by
economic growth, demographic change and urbanization. Cities could emerge as hubs
of innovation. As concerns over climate change spur innovation that is driving down costs
for low-carbon energy, Africa could seize the opportunity to leapfrog into a new era
of power generation. No region has more abundant or less utilized renewable energy
potential. Decentralized power generation and distribution systems are opening up new
possibilities for reaching populations currently bypassed by national grids (See infographic:
Opportunities).59
But such positive outcomes are not guaranteed. Power-generation capacity could fail
to keep pace with demand, creating an increasingly restrictive energy bottleneck. The
energy gap between Africa and other developing regions could widen, with damaging
consequences for Africa’s place in increasingly interdependent and competitive global
trading systems. Energy planning in Africa has suffered from a backward-looking
conservatism that could leave the region on the sidelines of the global low-carbon
energy revolution. Even if power generation increases, there is a danger that large
numbers of people will be left behind, especially in rural areas and urban informal
settlements.
The stakes could hardly be higher. Transformation of Africa’s energy systems would
transform prospects for inclusive growth that reduces poverty and accelerates
progress in improving people’s lives. Perpetuating the limited and unequal access to
small amounts of power that characterizes much of Africa today is a prescription for
inequality and restricted opportunity.
There are two fundamental requirements for changing this picture. First, the quantity
of power generation has to undergo a step increase. Current scenarios for the
region developed by the IEA and others lack ambition and are not aligned with
developments in Africa. Second, far more attention has to be paid to the most
disadvantaged. Too many energy plans focus on generating more gigawatts, with
insufficient regard to equity and access to electricity. This is inconsistent with the
commitment to deliver energy for all by 2030. Devolved power generation, coupled
with more flexible approaches to grid development, could bring electricity to every
household in Africa. However, success will require strong political leadership to
overhaul the governance of power utilities.
68
“Access to electricity is
fundamental to opportunity
in this age. It’s the light that
children study by, the energy
that allows an idea to be
transformed into a real business.
It’s the lifeline for families to
meet their most basic needs,
and it’s the connection that’s
needed to plug Africa into the
grid of the global economy.”
Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
OPPORTUNITIES
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
A powerful current is sweeping across Africa’s energy systems
The untapped potential of Africa’s primary energy resources (excluding South Africa) is estimated to be
260 times the current grid-based capacity
1.
URBANISATION
2.
POPULATION GROWTH
3.
ECONOMIC GROWTH
4.
ELECTRIFICATION
are driving an increase in energy demand
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania and South Africa
are at the forefront of renewable energy innovations
The renewable advantage: speed and decentralisation
Africa can ride the wave of new technologies and innovation to enter a new era of power generation
Africa has a late-comer advantage
adopt, adapt and innovate
Governments are setting a
higher bar for ambition –
and some are delivering
Rwanda expanded
electricity access by
160 percent between
2008 and 2011
Ethiopia is set to achieve zero net
emission status by 2027. No
developed country has matched this
level of ambition
Africa can lead the world on climate-resilient, low-carbon development - a triple-win for
1. CLIMATE
2. POVERTY REDUCTION
Prices for renewable
technologies are falling and are
now competitive with fossil fuels
3. ECONOMIC GROWTH
Africa’s governments can lay the foundations
for a low-carbon future. In some countries,
fossil fuels – including coal – will continue to
figure in the energy mix
International development finance can unlock significant private investment to spur a renewables revolution
Regional cooperation is deepening:
Only 5 per cent of
electricity is traded across
African borders so the
potential is huge
The AU is backing a
US$22 billion project to develop
a pan-African electricity highway by
2020
In West Africa, the AfDB is supporting
a project that will increase access to
low-cost electricity for
24 million people
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Energy demand is rising and set to surge
Energy systems across Sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to cope with rising demand
for power generation. That struggle is set to intensify. Four powerful drivers of demand
are evident:
•
Economic growth: Each percentage point in GDP growth in developing countries
tends to be accompanied by growth in energy demand of 1.2-2.3 per cent.60
Africa has been an exception to the rule. Sustained economic growth at 4-5
per cent would change this picture, generating demand for electricity among
companies and an emerging middle class.
•
Population growth 61: Between 2015 and 2040, the population of Sub-Saharan
Africa is expected to increase by 755 million, or 81 per cent. Electricity generation
will have to almost double by 2040 simply to maintain per capita provision.
Similarly, access rates will have to increase by more than population growth to
achieve energy for all.
•
Urbanization: By 2050 around one half of Africans will live in cities, compared with
just over one-third today – an increase in the urban population of 800 million people
(Box 3). The implications for energy provision are far-reaching. Today, urban consumers
in Africa use on average three times more electricity than their rural counterparts.
Urbanization also lowers the cost of connectivity. The cost of connecting a new
household to the grid typically ranges from US$500 in high-density urban areas to
US$1,500 for sparsely populated areas that are far from the grid.62
•
Electrification rates: As more households and firms are connected to the grid,
demand for energy will rise. The rate of increase will be determined by price, the
degree to which firms replace generator-fired power with grid-based power and
consumption levels among newly connected households and companies.
BOX 3 AFRICA’S URBAN FUTURE – RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing cities (Figure 23). Unplanned urbanization
on the current model will lead to cities marked by high levels of pollution, restricted access to services and
rising greenhouse gas emissions. There is an alternative that will benefit Africa and the world.
Research carried out for this report tracked urbanization and the economic prospects of Sub-Saharan Africa’s
69 largest cities across 35 countries. The results show:
• Half of the world’s fastest-growing cities are in Sub-Saharan Africa; 13 cities will double their population
between 2012 and 2030; and Lagos will be home to 25 million by 2030.
• The GDP of the 69 African cities is set to increase by US$750 billion, or 167 per cent, by 2030, based on
“business as usual” economic growth. While these cities currently represent less than a fifth of the population,
they already generate 36 per cent of GDP.
• The number of low-income cities is set to decrease from 15 to 4 between 2012 and 2030.
Across the world, urbanization has created hubs of innovation, vibrant new markets and productivity gains. But
the “urban dividend” is not automatic.
70
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Africa’s urbanization has been a largely unplanned consequence of rural poverty. The rise of a new high-income
elite has deepened already pronounced social divides. The sprawling slum of Kibera in Nairobi, for example,
is separated from the homes of Kenya’s super-rich by a single road. Urban sprawl is pushing settlements into
agricultural areas and onto increasingly precarious sites susceptible to flooding.
Cities built in this fashion haemorrhage economic opportunities and amplify social and environmental stress. Lacking
access to modern energy, poor households resort to burning charcoal. Emissions of soot, traffic fumes and smoke
have created dangerously high levels of particulate matter, which is linked to premature death, asthma, heart attacks
and respiratory diseases.
Road-traffic problems reinforce the costs of pollution. Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s lowest levels of car
ownership, but the highest levels of road death (322 road deaths per 100,000 cars) and some of the world’s most
congested cities. One study in Lagos estimated that commuters lost 3 billion hours annually to congestion and that a
20 per cent reduction in congestion would save US$1 billion every year.
There is an alternative. City authorities can work with utilities and the private sector to expand access to affordable
electricity. Renewable-energy technologies offer opportunities to leapfrog grid-based systems through solar and wind
power.
Similarly, Africa’s urban transport crisis could become an economic opportunity if managed in the right way. Cities
such as Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia have developed bus rapid transit and light rail
systems, modelled on best international practices. Some governments are also responding to the emerging crisis of
air pollution. The five member states of the East African Community have committed to a shared target for lowering
sulphur emissions in fuel.
Other opportunities can be created by allowing entrepreneurs access to the urban waste-stream and by devolving
sanitation services to communities. Compact, cohesive and connected African cities could bring benefits in terms of
economic growth, jobs and less pollution, while reducing transport-related emissions.63
FIGURE 23 AFRICA’S EXPANDING CITIES (PROJECTED POPULATION GROWTH TO 2030)
25.1
Lagos
16.7
Kinshasa
Dar Es Salaam
9.4
Johannesburg
9.4
7.7
Abidjan
7.3
Khartoum
Abuja
Kano
2030
9.8
Luanda
Nairobi
2012
6.6
6.0
5.7
Data source: Godfrey, N and Zhao, X. (2015). The Contribution of African Cities to the Economy and Climate: Population, economic growth, and carbon
emission dynamics.
71
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Mainstream scenarios fall far short of the ambition needed
Scenarios developed by the IEA and others provide an insight into some of the energy
challenges facing policymakers in Africa, as well as the potential costs of meeting higher
levels of demand.
The results of these exercises are instructive. As illustrated previously, the two core
scenarios of the IEA, the new policies scenario and the more ambitious African century
case, envisage a substantial increase in power but neither achieves universal access.
IEA’s demand modelling suggests that electricity generation will need to increase
by a factor of four to six by 2040. Over the next 15 years, under these scenarios,
electricity generation would increase from 440TWh in 2012 to between 974TWh and
1124TWh by 2030. A scenario developed by McKinsey is also within this range. The
unifying conclusion is that power generation will increase by around 4 per cent a year.
Measured against the record of the past 15 years, a 4 per cent annual increase in
electricity generation would mark a step increase.
Viewed against a higher level of ambition, the projected increases look less impressive.
In the IEA’s standard scenario, per capita electricity availability for Sub-Saharan Africa,
excluding South Africa, would amount to around 830kWh in 2040. This is well below
the level in India today and around one-third the current level in Thailand. To raise the
entire region of Sub-Saharan Africa to the average current per capita electricity access of
South Africa would require a 33-fold increase in installed capacity.64 One recent study
has shown that even a less ambitious 10-fold increase would require a 13 per cent per
annum average growth rate.65
Many people could be left behind
The standard energy scenarios also serve to highlight concerns over equity. Even with a
fourfold increase in power generation, millions of Africans would literally be left in the dark.
Universal access to electricity does not imply high levels of consumption. The IEA provides
an initial threshold for energy access in rural areas at 250kWh for rural households and
500kWh for urban households, assuming a five-person household. At this level, access is
sufficient to power a couple of light bulbs for a few hours a day, charge a mobile phone
and, in urban areas, perhaps run a fan. The IEA thresholds equate to 50-100 kWh per
person annually, or around 0.5 per cent of consumption in the United States and 5 per
cent of average consumption in Latin America. These are hardly ambitious targets.
Yet neither the IEA nor the McKinsey scenarios anticipate universal access to energy by
2040, let alone by the 2030 target date envisaged under the Sustainable Development
Goals (Figure 24). The IEA scenarios would leave between 595 million and 635 million
people without access in 2030, or between 43 per cent and 46 per cent of the region’s
population. The McKinsey scenario envisages 70-80 per cent access by 2040.66
These numbers imply that populations now without access will account for a very small
share of the additional electricity consumption. If these scenarios become reality, the direct
benefits of connectivity will trickle down at a desperately slow pace (Figure 25).
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
FIGURE 24 IEA SCENARIOS WOULD GENERATE MORE POWER: BUT DO LITTLE TO INCREASE ACCESS
TOTAL ELECTRICITY GENERATION
(TWh)
POPULATION WITHOUT ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY
(million and percent)
700
2500
2,006
600
2000
621
(68%)
530
500
1,541
1500
(30%)
400
300
1000
303
(17%)
200
500
440
100
0
0
2012
2020
2025
2030
2035
2040
2012
New policies scenario
2020
2025
2030
2035
2040
African century case
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook: A focus on energy prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
FIGURE 25 MORE POWER, UNEQUALLY SHARED (PROJECTED ELECTRICITY DEMAND BY SOURCE,
IEA SCENARIO, 2012-2040)
1400
Demand from newly connected households
Demand from those with access in 2012
1200
1000
TWh
800
600
400
200
0
2012
2015
2020
2025
2030
2035
2040
Data source: Derived from IEA scenario data.
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Policymakers need to raise the bar for ambition
The projected access figures for 2030 raise important questions for policy makers. The
IEA is one of the world’s most influential bodies in energy policy and its Africa Energy
Outlook is rightly seen as an authoritative source of data and analysis.67 Yet the core
scenarios developed by the agency question not just the region’s capacity to make an
energy transformation, but also the credibility of international commitments to achieve
energy for all by 2030.
While recognizing the evidence that can be marshalled to support the claim, the Africa
Progress Panel rejects the conclusion. Financing, political will and effort are not fixed
parameters; they can be changed through strong political leadership and effective
international cooperation. Africa cannot afford a level of ambition that leaves the region
without the power needed to support economic growth, and millions of the region’s
citizens without access to even the most basic level of electricity.
If more ambitious goals are to be achieved, policymakers have to abandon the
traditional incremental approaches and assumptions that underpin the IEA scenarios and
focus on transformational change in two areas. First, overall power generation needs to
increase at least 10-fold by 2040 if Africa’s energy systems are to support the growth in
agriculture, manufacturing and services needed to create jobs and raise living standards.
Second, if governments are serious about the 2030 commitment of “energy for all”,
they must adopt the strategies needed to extend provision through the grid and beyond
the grid. This is an area in which technological choice matters. Households lacking
access to electricity cannot afford to wait 15-20 years until large-scale, capital-intensive
projects come on stream. The speed of deployment matters and new technologies are
dramatically increasing the speed at which initial access can be provided.
There is no shortage of evidence to demonstrate what is possible. Brazil, China and
Indonesia have achieved rapid electrification over short time periods.68 Vietnam went
from levels of access below those now prevailing in Africa to universal provision
in around 15 years (Box 4). The country expanded electricity consumption fivefold
between 2000 and 2013. Bangladesh has increased electricity consumption by a
factor of four over the same period.
In each case, the transition to universal modern energy access was based on a
transformation in ambition, allied to the adoption of new technological systems,
institutional reform and finance. Equity has figured prominently, as poor households
and rural areas were accorded a high priority.69
Given the pace of technological change, past experience may not provide a guide to
future options. Electrification has tended to progress slowly at access rates below 20 per
cent, accelerate between 20 per cent and 80 per cent, and then slow down as energy
systems are extended into more remote and poorer areas.70 With the emergence of new
renewable technologies that can deliver affordable decentralized power to households,
both the take-off and the “last mile” could see accelerated progress.
Several African countries are already in the early stages of what may be an energy
transformation. In some cases the starting point is a very low level of access and per
capita provision. Even so, countries as diverse as Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and South
Africa are pushing back the boundaries of what appears possible.
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BOX 4 LESSONS FROM VIETNAM’S DRIVE TOWARDS UNIVERSAL ACCESS
The experience of Vietnam cautions against adopting a low level of ambition in transforming energy systems.
In 1990, only 14 per cent of the population had access to electricity. Today, Vietnam nearly has universal
coverage. Electricity production rose by a factor of ten between 1990 and 2010. Fossil fuels have increased
their share in the primary energy mix but renewable energy provision increased fivefold.
Whether measured in terms of power generation, access or average consumption, Vietnam has attained
indicators for electricity far in excess of those that would be predicted on the basis of the country’s income
levels. The extension of the transmission and distribution grid played a critical role in facilitating Vietnam’s
transition to energy for all. Public investments in the 1990s created a network of high-voltage and mediumvoltage transmission lines, including a national North-South line, allowing power produced by major
hydropower projects to be transmitted across the country.
Universal access to electricity has been attained at relatively low levels of consumption. Most households in the
poorest 40 per cent consume less than 100kWh. However, the poorest households also benefit indirectly from
the electricity utilized by small enterprises for agro-processing.
What are the factors behind Vietnam’s success? Beyond sustained political leadership, three factors stand out:
The development of a central grid and a decentralized system
Despite the presence in the 1990s of a state electricity monopoly, reforms allowed local communes and
groups of households to play a role in distribution through the purchase of electricity. By 2010, local
distribution utilities (LDUs) were operating in almost two thirds of the country’s 9,087 communes.
Pragmatic market reform with strong regulation
Vietnam has undertaken far-reaching energy-sector reforms, which are moving the country towards the creation
of competitive generation and wholesale markets where sellers (power plants) and buyers (distributors and
large consumers) will operate in a competitive power pool. Average tariffs are set and collected at levels
sufficient to generate a profit for reinvestment and maintenance.
Financing provisions
Targets for electrification have been linked to finance. Public investment has dominated the drive towards
universal access and expanded power generation. Community-level contributions have also played a key
role, accounting for around one-third of overall financing. Aid played an important role in financing energy
infrastructure, but had a residual role in rural electrification.71
Africa’s energy assets – vast but under-exploited
Sub-Saharan Africa may be starved of electricity, but the region is extraordinarily rich in
energy assets. Measured in terms of technical potential, the power-generation capacity of
gas, coal and hydropower resources vastly exceeds existing levels of power generation.
Adding solar and wind power to the mix dramatically increases the potential.
Exploiting that potential requires finance, technology and institutional capabilities that are
missing in many countries. Moreover, energy planners are making decisions in a fastmoving environment. Received wisdom is dissolving in the face of an extraordinary wave
of innovation in low-carbon technologies. Concern over climate change will strengthen
that wave, with potentially revolutionary consequences.
Received wisdom is dissolving
in the face of an extraordinary
wave of innovation in low-carbon
technologies. Concern over
climate change will strengthen
that wave, with potentially
revolutionary consequences.
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There is no roadmap to guide the decisions that African governments have to make.
Every government has to determine what constitutes a judicious mix of energy sources
in the light of its natural resources, financial and technological capabilities, and where
the country is starting from. But no government can afford to ignore the emerging
opportunities associated with low-carbon technologies.
The starting point – small grids dominated by hydro-power and coal
Regional energy figures for Sub-Saharan Africa are distorted by the size of South Africa’s
grid. Coal is the dominant primary energy resource for the region, accounting for 45
per cent of total electricity supply. However, hydropower is by some distance the main
source of energy for most countries. Taking South Africa out of the equation, hydropower
accounts for around 70 per cent of power generation.
Figure 26 provides a subregional snapshot of grid-based capacity. To summarize a
complex picture:
•
Southern Africa: The 46GW grid in South Africa is dominated by coal. The
remaining three-quarters of the population accounts for one-fifth of installed capacity,
with hydro-power and oil dominating. South Africa is one of the world’s major coal
producers and exporters.
•
West Africa: Around half of the subregion’s 20GW grid is gas-fired, with oil
accounting for another one-third of capacity and hydropower for 20 per cent. The
high share of oil results in average costs of generation more than double the costs
for southern Africa.
•
East Africa: Total grid capacity has tripled since 2000 as a number of major
hydropower projects have come on stream, including the Merowe dam in Sudan
and Ethiopia’s Beles II and Gilgel Gibe II dams. Hydropower accounts for around
half of grid capacity, with oil-fired generation accounting for over 40 per cent of the
remainder.
•
Central Africa: The subregion has the most limited grid capacity of 4GW and the
growth of that capacity has been very slow. Hydropower dominates, accounting for
around two-thirds of output.
FIGURE 26 BEHIND THE BIG PICTURE: FRAMING ENERGY SOURCES BY SUB-REGION (GWh, 2000
AND 2012)
NIGERIA
OTHER WEST
AFRICA
CENTRAL
AFRICA
EAST
AFRICA
SOUTH
AFRICA
OTHER
SOUTHERN
AFRICA
50
Other renewables
Hydro
40
GWh
Nuclear
30
Oil
Gas
20
Coal
10
0
2000
2012
2000
2012
2000
2012
2000
2012
2000
2012
2000
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook: A focus on energy prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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One of the standout features of the current primary-energy mix is the limited role of
renewable energy other than hydropower. There has been a marked increase in
generation of geothermal energy in East Africa over the past decade and generation
is increasing using both solar photovoltaic and wind-power technologies. However,
renewable-energy sources currently represent around 1 per cent of total grid-based
capacity.
Regional trade in energy is weakly developed. Sub-Saharan Africa has four operating
power pools but all are operating well below optimal levels.72 Less than 8 percent of power
crosses the region’s borders, despite the capacity needs of many countries. The southern
African power pool is the most developed and electricity exchanges from Cahora Bassa in
Mozambique to South Africa dominate trade within the subregion. In central and eastern
Africa, less than 1 percent of power crosses international borders. The West African gas
pipeline, first mooted in the mid-1980s, is a case study in failed regionalism.73
Primary energy potential – a snapshot of the inventory
Measuring energy potential is inherently difficult. Even so, Africa has rich primary-energy
resources in the form of reserves of fossil fuel and resources for hydro, solar and wind
power. Tapping into even a fraction of the technical potential would transform the
region’s energy systems. Estimates developed by McKinsey put the untapped potential
at 1.2TW, excluding solar power. To put this number in context, it represents 26 times
the current grid-based capacity (excluding South Africa). Adding solar potential to the
equation would multiply the potential by a factor of 10.
Africa currently utilises a fraction of the region’s technical hydropower potential. Overall
potential capacity has been estimated at 1,844TWh a year, three times the current total
electricity consumption for the entire region.74 The untapped potential for large rivers is
mainly concentrated in the Upper Nile and the Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo alone accounts for around half of the region’s
technically exploitable hydropower potential. The Grand Inga project (Box 5) could add
around 44GW to Africa’s grid. While large hydro-projects capture the headlines, smallscale hydropower plants represent very large potential. Sub-Saharan Africa currently has
588 small plants in operation with an average size of less than 10MW.75
Hydropower will remain the primary source of non-fossil fuel energy. Major investments
have been put in place. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), now being
built in the Benishangul-Gumuz region near the border with Sudan, will be one of the
world’s largest dams. Five other major hydro-projects with a capacity in excess of 1GW
are under development, two in Ethiopia, two in Angola and one in Mozambique. The
Niger, Orange and Senegal river systems have large potential for hydropower.
Realizing that potential creates development challenges that go beyond power generation.
The up-front costs of designing and constructing big dams are very high; investment in
GERD absorbs around 10 per cent of Ethiopia’s budget. Harnessing water for energy can
mean a loss of river irrigation for smallholder farmers. Impacts on local people can be
very severe, especially in communities subject to forced displacement. Few governments
have put in place the mechanisms needed to protect human rights and provide adequate
compensation. Large dams also have social, environmental and economic consequences
for downstream countries.
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BOX 5 THE GRAND INGA – A TRANSFORMATIVE BUT DELAYED PROJECT
Nothing better illustrates the gulf between Africa’s power potential and current provision than the Grand
Inga project. This envisages the construction of the world’s largest hydropower complex in the west of the
Democratic Republic of Congo. If constructed, the 44GW plant would double the electricity production
capacity of Africa in one stroke. Grand Inga could generate more power than the Three Gorges Dam in
China, making it the world’s largest infrastructure project.
Over the decades many plans for the development of Grand Inga have been drawn up and consigned to the
dustbin. Two dams, Inga 1 and Inga 2, were built more than 30 years ago. Utilization rates are desperately
low, however, because of poor maintenance, under-investment and political instability. Rehabilitation is
underway, although repeatedly delayed by financing constraints and governance concerns.
Strengthened governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one condition for development to
proceed. Another is prior agreement on a cross-border network of transmission lines, cooperation between
utilities, and critically a financially viable buyer to make the project bankable. Grand Inga can only work with
the development of a regional grid. The AfDB continues to play a crucial role in the development of Inga III.76
Sub-Saharan Africa has abundant reserves of coal and oil. At current production
levels, coal reserves are sufficient to meet demand for around 141 years. Most
of the reserves are concentrated in South Africa. However, Mozambique has the
potential to emerge as a major producer, with estimated reserves of 25 billion tonnes.
Recoverable resources of oil are placed at around 65 billion barrels, enough for
another century of production at current levels. New discoveries are expanding the
reserve levels. Sub-Saharan Africa has accounted for around 60 per cent of new oil
discoveries since 2000, with traditional West African countries being joined by new
suppliers. The Jubilee field in Ghana and the Kingfisher field in Uganda have raised
prospects of wider discoveries, with intensive exploration under way in Kenya’s Rift
Valley and Ethiopia’s Ogaden Basin. Madagascar has emerged as a potentially
significant producer of unconventional oil.
Natural gas has emerged as a regional energy game-changer. West Africa dominates
production, with Nigeria’s exports having quadrupled since 2000. But the major news
story is in East Africa. Ten years ago, neither Mozambique nor Tanzania would have
figured among the major gas producers of Sub-Saharan Africa. Today they account
for about half of gas-fired power potential.77 Mozambique’s estimated reserves are the
fourth largest in the world. Only a small group of countries – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire,
Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania – currently use their gas resources for domestic
consumption. This could change. McKinsey estimates a regional potential of about
400GW of gas-generated power to 2040 and Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania
account for 60 per cent of the total. Ongoing exploration is likely to produce further
discoveries of natural gas, partly because exploration in Sub-Saharan Africa remains
underdeveloped by comparison with the rest of the world.
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Non-hydro renewable energy capacity is extraordinarily rich:
•
Geothermal capacity is estimated at 7GW to 15GW, with a concentration
in East Africa. The Rift Valley’s very large geothermal potential is already
being exploited by Kenya and developed by Ethiopia. In Kenya, geothermal’s
contribution to the national energy mix is now over 50 per cent.
•
Solar power is Africa’s most abundant but least utilized source of energy
generation. Potential capacity has been placed as high as 10 terawatts (TW).78
Most of the region enjoys more than 300 days of bright sunlight and irradiance
levels twice the average for Germany, where a thriving solar industry has
developed. Estimates of prospective solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity supply by
2030 range from 15GW to 62GW.79
•
Wind-power deployment is limited but the potential is large. Technical potential
has been put at 1,300GW.80 Several countries have zones with wind speed and
reliability meeting high-efficiency standards, including the Rift Valley, South Africa,
Chad and Mauritania, where technical capacity has been estimated at four times
annual energy consumption in terms of oil equivalence. Kenya is developing
utility-scale wind-power generation in the Turkana region. Angola, Mozambique,
Namibia, Tanzania and South Africa have potentially large offshore resources.81
Technological choices – and energy future scenarios
For policymakers concerned to convert potential into real energy, mapping resources
is just one part of a complex equation. Solar irradiation only becomes a viable source
of modern energy when it is harnessed to technology. Fossil fuels such as gas and
coal have to be transported and transformed into thermal energy through combustion.
The critical considerations facing governments are the locations of primary energy
resources and the costs of putting in place the infrastructure, technology and finance
needed to exploit those resources.
The IEA has estimated costs for power generation across a range of technological
options. These costs are expressed in comparable – or “levelized” – terms. In the case
of on-grid provision, coal has a distinctive cost advantage in the IEA estimates, with
solar PV at the top end of the “levelized” cost range.82 Solar PV and other renewable
options, including small hydro- and small wind power, are more competitive than
diesel generators in off-grid or mini-grid applications (Figure 27).
The scenarios outlined earlier are acutely sensitive to assumptions about future costs
and technological change. Both the IEA (Figure 28) and the McKinsey scenarios
anticipate that the expansion of power generation will be associated with a shift in the
energy mix and that the share of coal will shrink and the shares of renewable energy
and natural gas will rise:
• Coal accounts for 23-27 per cent of the regional electricity mix by 2030
according to the IEA scenarios and 21 per cent under the McKinsey scenario.
• Gas-fired power dominates the 2040 electricity mix predicted by McKinsey,
accounting for 40-50 per cent of capacity; the IEA scenarios point to a share of
around one-quarter.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 27 ELECTRICITY COSTS VARY FOR ON-GRID AND OFF-GRID SOURCES: INDICATIVE
LEVELISED COSTS FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (2012)
Solar PV (large)
Gas GT (US$12/MBtu)
On-grid
Gas CCGT (US$12/MBtu)
Onshore wind
Large hydro
GasGT (US$4/MBtu)
Coal subcritical
Generator (US$1/litre)
Off-or mini-grid
Solar PV (small)
Small hydro
Small wind
Generator (US$0.75/litre)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
US dollars per MWh
Notes: Costs are indicative and figures for specific projects could vary significantly, depending on their detailed design. GT = gas turbine; CCGT = combined-cycle gas
turbine; MBtu = million British thermal units.
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook: A focus on energy prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
FIGURE 28 AFRICA’S ENERGY PROFILE IS SET TO CHANGE, WITH THE SHARE OF COAL SHRINKING:
ELECTRICITY GENERATION BY FUEL IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA IN THE NEW POLICIES SCENARIO (2012
AND 2040)
0.5 % 0.5 %
8%
9%
4%
Coal
3%
3%
3%
Oil
9%
Nuclear
27%
56%
22%
Other renewables
Hydro
25%
Gas
Bioenergy
2012 TOTAL GENERATION: 440TWh
Solar PV
4%
26%
2040 TOTAL GENERATION: 1,541TWh
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook: A focus on energy prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
• Under the McKinsey scenario, solar would comprise 17 per cent of capacity by
2040, but not take off until 2030. In the IEA scenarios, solar represents just 4 per
cent of 2040 capacity.
• The IEA scenarios envisage hydropower accounting for between one-quarter and
one-third of 2040 capacity, compared with 11 per cent in the McKinsey scenario.
We cite these comparisons to illustrate two points that should figure prominently in the
calculations of policymakers. First, the broad direction is away from coal and towards
natural gas, hydropower and other renewables. Projections by McKinsey point to solar
as the lowest or second-lowest source of energy by 2030, pointing to a strong case for
investment in this area.83 Second, the marked variations between the scenarios illustrate
the uncertainties associated with the underlying price trends and technological change.
Any scenario using today’s costs may be overtaken by events.
The challenge for African policymakers is to devise investment strategies that deliver
early results while recognizing that decisions taken today will shape mid-century
energy infrastructures. Global climate-change imperatives point to a compelling case
for avoiding “high-carbon lock-in” through building carbon-intensive energy systems
that will undermine international efforts to contain global warming. More immediately,
the economics of energy provision are moving strongly in a direction that favours the
development of a low-carbon infrastructure. The Global Commission on the Economy
and Climate concluded: “Renewable energy sources have emerged with stunning and
unexpected speed as large-scale, and increasingly economically viable, alternatives to
fossil fuels.”84 Even without climate-change considerations, Africa cannot afford to miss
out on the opportunity of low-carbon energy.
Key sources of renewable energy have gone from being prohibitively expensive
to being cost-competitive in less than a decade. Wind and solar, in particular, are
increasingly competitive with energy systems based on fossil fuels. The results are
reflected in the global demand patterns. In 2013, renewable energy sources excluding
hydropower accounted for 44 per cent of new installed capacity worldwide, creating
significant benefits for climate change.85
Regional, weighted average costs of generating electricity from biomass, geothermal
sources, hydropower and onshore wind are all now in the range of, or even lower
than, estimated costs of fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs. Solar PV-generation
costs also increasingly fall within that range.
The pace of change is accelerating. Technological development, in-country learning and
capacity development continue to drive down costs. Real prices for solar PV power have
fallen by half since 2010.86 The most competitive utility-scale solar PV projects are now
regularly delivering electricity for just US$0.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is well
below the average level (US$0.14 per kWh) for Sub-Saharan Africa.87
This backdrop does not provide policymakers in Africa with a roadmap to guide the
choice between renewable and fossil-fuel energy sources. Despite the convergence in
costs of renewable technologies, there are wide variations not only within each country
but also between countries. It would be folly to interpret current cost data as evidence to
support a “renewables only” approach.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
By the same token, Africa cannot afford to turn a blind-eye to the renewables opportunity.
Solar energy in particular provides a vast untapped source of energy and solar PV
technologies are increasingly cost-effective off-grid as well as on the grid. Fast-growing
emerging markets including India and China are using wind and solar power to diversify
their energy mixes and reduce reliance on coal-fired power generation. In recent
government tenders in Brazil, wind-power out-competes fossil-fuel alternatives (Figure 29).88
Experience in Sub-Saharan Africa itself is also informative. From hydro-power in Ethiopia
to geothermal in Kenya, and solar power in Ghana, recent years have seen a surge of
investments in renewable power generation.
From hydro-power in Ethiopia to
geothermal in Kenya, and solar
power in Ghana, recent years
have seen a surge of investments
in renewable power generation.
In South Africa, coal overwhelmingly dominates power generation and energy
investment, but in 2013, the state provider Eskom contracted for wind power at prices
17 per cent below those projected for the country’s two massive new coal-fired power
plants.89 South Africa’s recent experience in renewable energy sources has implications
for the continent. Its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement
(REIPPP) programme has successfully channelled substantial private-sector expertise and
investment into grid-connected renewable energy at highly competitive prices. To date,
64 projects have been awarded to the private sector under the REIPPP.
FIGURE 29 THE RISING TIDE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT BY MAJOR COUNTRIES (US$
BILLION, 2004-2011)
300
277
Other developing
Brazil
250
India
228
China
Other developed
US dollars (billions)
200
170
United States
154
Europe
143
150
97
100
65
50
39
0
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Data source: Sustainable Energy For All. (2013). Global Tracking Framework.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
These projects will generate 3,922MW of renewable power – and the first projects
are already online. Private-sector investment has totalled US$14 billion. Prices have
dropped over the three bidding phases with average solar PV tariffs decreasing by 68
per cent and wind by 42 per cent, in nominal terms.
There are compelling grounds for African governments to put in place the policies
and investments needed to launch a low-carbon energy take-off. Recent scenarios
developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggest that by
2030 renewable energy sources (including hydropower) could reach a 50 per cent
share of Sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity mix.90 That projection is highly plausible,
provided that governments put in place the policies needed to promote investment in
renewable sources, build technological capacity and expand regional trade in energy.
The pace and sequencing of
decarbonisation has to take into
account countries’ starting points
and the policy choices available,
along with considerations of
fairness and equity related to
climate justice.
There is more to the energy-investment calculus than simple price comparisons.
Factoring in the environmental and health impacts of fossil fuels – especially coal –
changes the relative price equation. The ongoing public-health crises in Chinese and
Indian cities highlight that coal-fired power generation carries very high costs in terms
of health financing, days lost through sickness and premature death. This is a future
that African policymakers should seek to avoid.
Fossil fuels will remain an important part of the fuel mix
Africa cannot afford to stand on the sidelines of the low-carbon energy revolution. Nor
can it embark on a “green energy” agenda that jeopardizes prospects for achieving
the increased power generation and access needed to sustain inclusive growth,
reduce poverty and create jobs. The pace and sequencing of decarbonization has to
take into account countries’ starting points and the policy choices available, along with
considerations of fairness and equity related to climate justice.
Fossil-fuel reserves provide Africa with the foreign exchange and revenue streams needed
to finance imports of energy technology and public investment. They also provide primary
energy resources for domestic energy consumption. Far too much of the investment activity in
the energy sector has been geared towards exploration, extraction and export and too little
towards domestic energy needs (Figure 30). For every US$1 invested in power generation
in 2012, another US$5 was invested in export activity, principally in oil.
Natural gas has a vital role to play in meeting Sub-Saharan Africa’s rising demand for
energy. It can be utilized as a fuel for combined-cycle power plants. It offers an alternative
to biomass in cooking and to gasoline or diesel in transport. Natural gas can also be used
to produce nitrogenous fertilizers, substituting domestic production for imports. Putting in
place the facilities to gather and process gas, and developing the gas networks, markets
and pricing strategies needed for cost-effective exploitation, are major tasks for African
governments. Nigeria’s Gas Master Plan envisages the development of an ambitious
integrated US$15-20 billion investment in gas processing, petrochemicals, fertilizer
production and a gas-fired power plant. Mozambique and Tanzania have also developed
strategies aimed at rebalancing gas production by expanding the domestic sector (Box 6).
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FIGURE 30 MOST OF AFRICA’S ENERGY INVESTMENT IS GEARED TOWARDS EXPLORATION,
EXTRACTION AND EXPORT: INVESTMENT IN FUEL AND FOR POWER GENERATION (US$ BILLION, 20002013)
100
Coal
Biofuels
80
Domestic power generation
Billion US dollars
Gas
60
Oil
40
20
0
2000
2003
2006
2009
2013
Data source: International Energy Agency. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook: A focus on energy prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Modelling exercises have captured the great potential associated with natural gas.
Developing a regional gas grid in eastern and southern Africa could bring gas to 263
major urban areas across eight countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique,
Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The headline costs are large, at US$57 billion. But the
costs could be spread over several years and this infrastructure would benefit 185 million
people in urban areas. In addition to power, gas would also allow cleaner cooking and
cleaner fuel for public transport vehicles. The wider benefits of power and industry would
reach up to 600 million people in eastern and southern Africa.91
One cautionary note has to be sounded on natural gas. Developing a gas infrastructure
is highly capital-intensive and building infrastructure from scratch takes time. Estimates
by the IMF place the cost of building the infrastructure for Mozambique’s gas at US$40
billion (or 2.7 times the GDP of 2012). Moreover, even if the project is developed early
and the finance is in place, it would take until 2035 to develop the full infrastructure.
Falling oil prices have generated a wide-ranging international debate over future market
prospects. As noted earlier, oil-fired power generation figures with some prominence
in the energy mix of many countries. However, these countries should avoid premature
investments in expanded capacity. Oil-fired power generation has been expensive in
Sub-Saharan Africa and countries that invested in plant capacity during the last era of
low oil prices have faced high import bills and high energy costs. Moreover, gambling
on a continuation of low prices in a volatile market may provide unwise.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
BOX 6 SHIFTING PRIORITIES IN TANZANIA – A STRONGER EMPHASIS ON DOMESTIC MARKETS
With power demand rising by over 10 per cent a year and perennial electricity shortages acting as a brake
on growth, Tanzania is reorienting its natural gas priorities. There is a growing emphasis on developing the
country’s huge natural gas reserves in the Ruvuma Basin to supply local industry and create jobs at home.
While foreign investors and several donor governments have been unsympathetic to the policy shift, there has
been some initial success. The Songas gas-to-power project now provides Tanzania with around one-fifth of
its grid-based electricity, reducing dependence on imported fuels and seasonal unreliability associated with
hydropower. Around 30 industrial companies receive electricity from Songas.
Songas has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company
(TANESCO), signed in 2004. The electricity is sold for around US$0.055/kWh, which is well below the
equivalent costs of electricity generated using imported fuel. Songas has saved Tanzania a reported US$1.8
billion since it began operations.92
The share of coal should shrink – and so should Western double standards
The role of coal is diminishing fast, though it will continue to play a significant role
under any credible scenario for achieving universal access to energy by 2030. Several
countries across the region are scaling-up coal-fired power projects in response to power
shortages. Many of these projects involve foreign investors, with part of the planned
generation geared towards mining activities. Among the cases at various stages of the
project pipeline are:
• In 2013, Nigeria entered into a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese
energy company to build a US$3.7 billion coal power project that is expected to
add 1,200MW of electricity to the national grid.93
• In South Africa, two of the world’s largest super-critical coal-fired power stations are
scheduled to enter commission, Medupi and Kusile. Each will generate 4.8GW of
electricity.94
• By 2023, Kenya plans to produce 2.7GW of power from coal, with new power
stations planned at Kitui and Lamu.95
•
Mozambique has approved a 25-year concession for the construction of a
600MW coal-fired power plant in Moatize, Tete province.96
•
Tanzania already produces coal from two mines, mainly for power generation.
China’s Sichuan Hongda signed a US$3 billion deal with Tanzania in 2011 to
mine coal and iron ore and to build a coal-fired power plant that is to be completed
in 2018/19.97
•
Senegal has signed a contract with locally registered Africa Energy SA company to
build a coal-fired power plant with a capacity of at least 300MW by 2017.98
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International concern over coal focuses on the high carbon content of the energy it
generates. On a per unit basis, coal generates roughly twice as much CO2 as natural
gas. Globally, it represented 29 per cent of primary energy supply in 2012 but
accounted for 44 per cent of energy-related CO2 emissions.99 There are compelling
grounds for eliminating coal from energy systems as early as possible.
In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, the elimination date is likely to be well after 2040.
Prohibiting investment in coal before then would limit power generation in countries that
do not have readily available and affordable alternatives, and would produce modest
benefits for climate change. If current trends continue, the region’s share in energy-related
CO2 emissions will increase from 2 per cent to just 3 per cent by 2040.
This should not deflect attention from the global benefits of low-carbon development
in Africa. As coal’s share of the region’s primary energy mix reduces, the carbon
intensity of Africa’s power generation is declining. With the aggressive promotion of
renewables, it would decline more rapidly. On one estimate, increasing installed grid
capacity of renewables by 24 per cent through to 2040 would reduce CO2 emissions
from 625 megatonnes (Mt) to 495 Mt a year – a 21 per cent reduction. However,
this would increase the capital cost of power generation by around US$108 billion.
Given the investment constraints faced by governments in Africa, such figures point to
a compelling case for international cooperation to expand the choices available to
energy planners through incentives rather than penalties.
Some questions certainly have to be asked about approaches to fossil fuels in
international cooperation. There has been a long-running battle within multilateral
development banks between mainly European and North American advocates of a
move away from supporting fossil-fuel energy investments, and middle-income and
low-income countries seeking investment for power infrastructure. The former group have
a discernible upper hand. The World Bank Group has adopted guidelines allowing
for coal investment only in rare circumstances.100 The US Overseas Private Investment
Corporation, which backstops companies investing in developing countries, is effectively
prohibited from investing in energy projects involving fossil fuels.101 Aid agencies such
Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other EU donors provide no
support for coal-fired power development.
It is striking that there has been little debate over whether limiting development finance
for fossil fuels, including coal, in the name of cutting greenhouse gas emissions might
hamper efforts to achieve universal access to energy for all.
Viewed from a Sub-Saharan African perspective, it is difficult to avoid being struck by
some marked double standards. Coal-fired generation occupies an important share in
the energy mix of countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States,
where it has a far greater share than in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the
same countries are able to use their shareholder domination of the World Bank to limit
support to Africa. One perverse side-effect is to leave African governments without the
finance that might enable them to invest in more efficient coal-fired power plants with
lower emissions.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
The most obvious alternative to coal or natural gas in most countries is large-scale
hydropower. Yet here too there are financing constraints. Concern over the displacement
of populations has prompted most Western donors to shun support for dams. The
perception in Africa is that the preference of the donor community would be for the
region to embrace solar power and wind-power on a scale and at a pace of change
that no rich country would consider. The frustration has been powerfully captured by
Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank:
“It is hypocritical for Western governments who have funded their industrialization
using fossil fuels, providing their citizens with enough power, to say to African
countries, ‘You cannot develop dams, you cannot develop coal, just rely on these very
expensive renewables’… To every single African country, from South Africa to the
north, the biggest impediment to economic growth is energy, and we don’t have this
kind of luxury of making this kind of choice.”
Double standards aside, there are compelling grounds for African governments
to review their investment plans for coal. International evidence strongly suggests
that the competitive position of coal-fired power generation is deteriorating.102
Unlike renewable energy and gas-fired generation, the costs of coal-fired electricity
generation are not falling. If the Paris climate-change summit produces an agreement,
it is likely that countries will impose taxes on CO2 emissions and the pace of
technological change in coal will slow relative to low-carbon technologies.
Several emerging markets are already adjusting their priorities. Chinese government
policy is aimed at reducing the share of coal in the energy mix and investment in
renewable energy is growing. Coal accounted for around half of new electricity
generation in 2013 – down from 85 per cent a decade earlier.103 One-fifth of all
global investment in renewable energy in 2011 took place in China.104
Evidence from within Africa also provides a cautionary tale for coal enthusiasts. Coal-fired
power-plant projects are subject to notorious delays and cost overruns. The experience of the
Medupi and Kiseli plants in South Africa is instructive. The plants have brought large capital
outlays and are set to produce high-cost electricity several years later than scheduled.
Moreover, an abundance of reserves should not be confused with commercial capacity.
One of the major constraints in Sub-Saharan Africa’s coal development, both for domestic
consumption and export, is a lack of infrastructure. This was illustrated in January 2013
when Rio Tinto Zinc announced a US$3 billion write-down of its coal-mining investment in
Mozambique, citing the slow pace of infrastructure development.105
Gas-turbine power generation may be a viable alternative to coal in many countries.
Several developed countries are using natural gas as a potential “bridge technology”
in the transition to a lower-carbon economy.106 For Africa, investments in natural gas
development could dislodge the preference for coal as the default new option for
new power supply. The flexibility of gas in electricity generation makes it a potentially
important enabler of higher levels of penetration of variable renewable energy sources.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Energy for all – the grid and beyond
Increased power generation is a necessary condition for delivering on the commitment
of universal energy for all – but it is not a sufficient condition. As the IEA and McKinsey
scenarios discussed earlier graphically illustrate, expanded power generation can go
hand-in-hand with limited gains in access. An important question for policymakers is
how to extend opportunities for access to affordable energy while increasing overall
consumption of electricity.
Large-scale electricity generating plants will continue to dominate the energy landscape
in Sub-Saharan Africa. These plants permit economies of scale, but they require
transmission and distribution networks to connect customers. The cost of transmission
rises with distance. Reaching remote rural areas in Tanzania, for example, can cost
US$2,300 per household, almost five times the connection costs in urban areas.107
Connecting to the “last mile” can be even more costly.
It can often also take 7-10 years (or more) between the initial investment decision for a
large plant and the time it starts generating power. If the aim is to deliver energy for all
by 2030, then large, capital-intensive plants will not achieve the goal.
Energy strategies aimed at reaching populations without access to electricity have
to consider a range of options. One option is to extend the grid or to connect
populations to the existing grid. Another option is to develop mini-grids. These might
comprise a single generator and low-voltage distribution network, often serving a
single community or small town. The generator might be powered by diesel, solar
PV, a small-scale hydropower scheme or by a combination of sources. Mini-grids are
not connected to the national grid, though they can be designed to facilitate future
connectivity, and they may be owned by a private business, a utility or a community.
A third option is the deployment of stand-alone decentralized systems in the form of a
generator or solar home system that can be adopted by individual households.
The IEA estimates that around half of the population who currently lack access to
electricity would be best served by grid extension.108 The Joint Research Council puts
the figure lower, estimating that around 70 per cent of rural populations who now
lack access could be supplied through mini-grid and off-grid systems.109 In practice,
detailed energy-sector mapping is required to identify the most cost-effective route to
delivery. One such exercise in Senegal found that 20 per cent to 50 per cent of the
unconnected rural population could be most efficiently reached through investments in
grid extension.110
Providing people with electricity as their first step on the energy ladder can transform
households and the energy requirements are modest. Using the IEA’s threshold
consumption figures, the additional electricity generation required for universal access
in rural areas is 35TWh by 2030 – a 4 per cent increase over the IEA’s baseline
projection. Mini-grids and stand-alone systems would together supply just under half of
this total.
Renewable energy markets across much of Africa are being transformed from below.
Unconnected, low-income households are increasingly tapping into new decentralized
technologies, especially in solar, to secure entry-level lighting. New business models
are emerging to support this development.
88
Renewable energy markets
across much of Africa are
being transformed from below.
Unconnected, low-income
households are increasingly
tapping into new decentralized
technologies, especially in solar,
to secure entry-level lighting.
New business models are
emerging to support this
development.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
As we highlighted above, consumers and investors stand to gain from substituting
biomass and kerosene with modern energy.
There is also an international interest. In the IEA scenario, diesel generators would
generate 12,520GWh of electricity a year to 2030. One corollary of that output
would be 12,520 kilotonnes of CO2. These emissions could be diminished or
altogether avoided through the expansion of renewable energy, underscoring the case
for international cooperation to secure complementary gains in access to energy and
the global benefits that come with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“We lit up Africa, the formerly
dark continent, using hydro,
solar, wind, geothermal energy,
in addition to fossil fuels.”
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
Chair of the African Union
AFRICA’S ENERGY TRANSFORMATION
The rising tide of reform, investment and innovation
After decades of neglect, energy policy is starting to move centre-stage in Africa.
Governments are adopting more ambitious targets for power generation, backed in
some cases by far-reaching reforms of their energy sectors. Private investors, domestic
and foreign, are seizing new market opportunities. Beyond the national grid, smaller
firms are responding to the demand of poor households for basic lighting, heating and
cooking. International cooperation is also gathering momentum. The United Nations
programme Sustainable Energy for All has put Africa’s energy crisis firmly on the post2015 development agenda.
This section of the report provides a snapshot of developments that are transforming
the African energy environment. It highlights a rising level of ambition across the
region and the emergence of innovative new business models. Many of the gains
that have been registered are fragile. Even so, there is a growing recognition among
governments that ordinary people are frustrated by the failings of current energy
systems, and that an economic transformation will have to be supported by an energy
transformation.
Governments are setting a higher bar for ambition – and some
are delivering
Scenarios developed by the IEA and McKinsey envisage a fourfold increase in power
generation over the next 25 years. These scenarios are being overtaken by events on
the ground. Many governments in Africa are setting their sights far higher.
The disappointing regional record on energy over the past 15 years of high economic
growth obscures some extraordinary advances. There are 12 countries in which
net electricity generation has been increasing by 7 per cent a year or more since
2000; another 19 are meeting or exceeding the 4 per cent per annum growth levels
projected in the IEA and McKinsey scenarios (Figure 31). Many countries continue
to register limited gains, in some cases because there is an inevitable lag between
investment and delivery; in others because the investments have yet to be put in place.
Yet the strong performance of some countries provides a powerful example for others.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 31 BEHIND THE AVERAGE: SOME COUNTRIES ARE INCREASING ELECTRICITY NET
GENERATION (AVERAGE ANNUAL GROWTH RATE FOR TOTAL ELECTRICITY NET GENERATION, 2000-2012)
MIDDLE RANGE
FAST MOVERS
13%
SLOW MOVERS
14
Middle-range
Fast movers
7%
10
3%
6
4%
8
2
0
-2
-4
Togo
Guinea-Bissau
Swaziland
Zimbabwe
South Africa
Namibia
Guinea
DR Congo
Somalia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Côte d’Ivoire
Liberia
Zambia
Mozambique
Mauritius
Sierra Leone
Burkina Faso
Ghana
Gabon
Lesotho
Eritrea
Central African Republic
Seychelles
Cameroon
Malawi
Nigeria
Benin
Uganda
Niger
Kenya
Burundi
The Gambia
Senegal
Cabo Verde
Comoros
Tanzania
São Tomé and Príncipe
Mali
Chad
Madagasca
Rwanda
Sudan and South Sudan
Angola
Ethiopia
Congo
Mauritania
Average annual growth rate (percent)
12
4
Slow movers
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Electricity Net Generation.
BOX 7 RWANDA’S ENERGY TRANSFORMATION
Rwanda has put in place ambitious plans to increase power-generation and expand access to electricity.
Sustained engagement by the country’s leaders and reform of the electricity utility has opened the door to wideranging investment opportunities.
Current plans envisage that 70 per cent of the population will have access to electricity by the end of 2017,
up from 12 per cent in 2012. Over the same period, the strategy aims at increasing electricity generation from
about 100MW to 1,160MW. The increase would come from a range of sources. Hydropower will be the
main technology, but solar PV, geothermal, biogas and peat will also be used as new sources of energy.
Total investment requirements for 2013-2017 are estimated at US$4.2 billion, or US$845 million a year
under a proposed accelerated plan. Public financing will cover around 40 per cent of the cost. However, the
financial viability of the strategy depends on public-private partnerships.111
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
The scale and pace of change has been insufficiently recognized. Starting from an
extremely low base, Rwanda expanded electricity access by 160 per cent in just three
years between 2008 and 2011 (Box 7). Current plans are scaling up both access and
power-generation capacity. Mauritania, a little-known success story, is one of the strongest
performers in the region. Power generation has increased threefold since 2000.
The experience of Ethiopia is even more telling (Box 8). Net power generation increased
from 1.3 billion kWh to 6.6 billion kWh between 2000 and 2012. The country is now
set to emerge as a major regional exporter of electricity. Rapid energy-sector development
is one leg of an ambitious strategy to achieve middle-income status by 2025. The other leg
is a Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) initiative that aims to build resilience against
harmful climate-change effects nationally while demonstrating leadership globally. On a
business-as-usual pathway, greenhouse gas emissions would more than double, from
150 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) today to 400 MtCO2e in
2030. On a per capita basis, the emissions would remain tiny at less than 3 tonnes
per capita (the current level in the United States is 17 tonnes).
BOX 8 ETHIOPIA – AN EMERGING ENERGY EXPORTER
As one of the world’s highest-growth economies, Ethiopia has seen demand for electricity rise sharply.
Increased investment has expanded net electricity generation fivefold. Even so, power shortages continue to
hold back economic growth and grid coverage is limited, with just 15-20 per cent of rural Ethiopians having
access to electricity.
Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Programme (2010-2015) and its successor (2015-2020) is changing this
picture. The strategy aims at another fivefold increase in power generation, from 2GW to 10GW, with a doubling
of grid connection from 2 million to 4 million households and 75 per cent of villages connected to the grid.
Large-scale public investments in hydropower have underpinned the strategy, including the Gilgel Gibe 3 dam
and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a 6GW hydropower project.
The World Bank forecasts that Ethiopian electricity sales will rise from 4GW in 2011 to 17GW in 2020. By
2030, the aim is to export at least 5,000MW, up from just 223MW now. Total investment requirements are
estimated at around US$2 billion annually, which is double current levels. The World Bank and the African
Development Bank (AfDB) are financing a transmission line capable of transporting 2GW of electricity from
Ethiopia to Kenya.
Ethiopia is also investing heavily in non-hydro renewable development. New public-private partnerships are
emerging. US-Icelandic company Reykjavik Geothermal has signed a US$4 billion agreement to build a 1GW
geothermal plant by the beginning of the next decade. One of the region’s largest wind-farm projects, the
120MW Adama project, is under development through a US$290 million French investment. The emphasis on
renewable energy will lead to the abatement of 250 MtCO2e by 2030, which is a decrease in greenhouse
gas emissions of up to 64 per cent compared with a business-as-usual model.112
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
However, the government has adopted around 60 initiatives aimed at keeping overall
emissions at today’s level, while achieving zero-net-emission status by 2027 through
forestation, land conservation and carbon-neutral transport policies.113 No developed
country has matched this level of ambition.
Africa’s new energy strategies far exceed the goals identified in the IEA’s baseline
scenarios. The Africa Progress Panel has reviewed the energy plans of around 30
countries. Most aim well beyond doubling capacity by 2020. Nigeria is targeting an
increase in generating capacity to 40GW in the early 2020s, from 8.6GW today.114
Kenya’s Vision 2030 strategy envisages installed capacity of 15GW by 2030, which
is a sevenfold increase over current levels.115 Tanzania’s Big Results Now initiative,
supported through Power Africa, aims at efficiency gains and investments that will
double capacity over 2012 levels to 2GW by the end of 2016.116
Some countries are setting a high level of ambition from a low base. Liberia has one
of the world’s smallest grids and lowest rates of access to electricity. Less than 5 per
cent of the country currently has access and the grid of Monrovia, the capital city, is
largely supplied by expensive diesel-based generators. By 2030, the country aims to
increase capacity from 23MW to 300MW and have one-third of the country covered
by the grid.
The financial landscape is changing
Part of the impetus towards change in the energy sector can be traced to financing.
Several governments have stepped up public spending commitments. Energy-sector
reforms have unleashed a new wave of private investment, with African business and
international equity firms entering public-private partnerships. Development finance
institutions are playing an expanded role, and international cooperation has moved
into a higher gear. President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative and cooperation
between Africa and the European Union have put energy for all on the global
development agenda. Chinese investment has emerged as a game-changer.
Much more capital needs to be mobilized for infrastructure development but the record
of recent years points to a new mood towards energy investment. African governments
increasingly view energy investments as a vital ingredient of national growth and
poverty-reduction strategies. And private investors, for whom African energy infrastructure
would once have been a “no-go” zone, are seizing new market opportunities.
Domestic financing is on the rise
International dialogue on energy financing for Africa sometimes overlooks the critical
role of domestic financing. Resources mobilized from taxes and utility charges are
estimated to account for around 80 per cent of total spending.117 Official development
assistance (ODA) probably accounts for around 6 per cent of total spending and nonODA external financing around 15 per cent.118
Recent estimates put energy sector budget allocations for 2012 at US$12.6 billion,
an increase of 28 per cent over 2010. As in other areas, regional financing is
dominated by South Africa.119
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Budget allocations excluding South Africa increased from US$1.6 billion to US$2.1
billion between 2010 and 2012. Yet several countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia,
Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Uganda have more than doubled budget allocations.
The figures have to be treated with caution. There is often a large gap between
allocations and actual expenditure. Moreover, the overwhelming bulk of public
spending, probably around three-quarters, is directed towards operations and
maintenance, rather than investment.120 The dead weight of utility losses severely limits
the fiscal capacity of states to finance energy infrastructure. However, budget priorities
are shifting in a positive direction.
Recourse to sovereign debt financing is mobilizing new resources. In 2014,
African governments issued US$14 billion in sovereign debt and finance for energy
infrastructure figured prominently. In December 2014, Ethiopia joined a growing
cast of countries drawing on Eurobond markets, with a US$1 billion debut bond.121
Ethiopia has financed part of the US$4.5 billion in investment required for the Grand
Ethiopian Renaissance Dam from domestic taxation, domestic bonds and “diaspora
bonds”.122 Kenya has issued around half a dozen infrastructure bonds, most recently
raising US$2 billion in Eurobond markets. Some countries, including Kenya, have also
issued local-currency bonds for infrastructure projects.123
Pension funds are also being harnessed in some countries for energy financing.
Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust has taken over a power plant as
part of a more active investment strategy. The US$4 billion Botswana Public Officers
Pension Fund has taken stakes in energy infrastructure, as has the Nigeria Social
Insurance Trust Fund. The scale of pension-fund investment remains limited but illustrates
the potential for tapping into a deeper pool of savings.
Does sovereign debt offer a viable alternative to tax-based public financing and
private investment? Prudential recourse to international bond markets offers a number
of advantages. The cost of borrowing is typically well below domestic market costs.
Sovereign debt also provides access to hard currency needed to finance imports of
energy technologies.
Sovereign debt does come with risks attached. Countries are borrowing on global
bond markets on 5- to 10-year terms, while power projects often take 10 to 20 years or
longer to construct and generate revenue streams. Moreover, because revenue streams
are in local currency while bonds are serviced in hard currency, the costs of borrowing
can escalate sharply with national currency devaluation, as Ghana and Nigeria recently
discovered to their cost.124
Governments may also face difficulties refinancing bond-related debt as the amortization
increases towards the maturity date.125 Large fiscal deficits, as in Ghana and Zambia,
drive up the yields on sovereign bonds and lead in turn to fiscal pressure and currentaccount deficits. One detailed survey has cautioned that some countries are at risk of a
renewed debt crisis.126
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Ultimately, public investment in energy infrastructure has to be financed through some
combination of tax revenues and government debt. One of the greatest barriers to
the transformation of the power sector is the low level of tax collection. Even before
the upward revision – or “rebasing” – of GDP figures for many countries, revenue-toGDP ratios across much of Sub-Saharan Africa were very low. With rebasing, it is
evident that some governments are fundamentally failing to build credible tax systems.
In 2013, Nigeria’s revenue-to-GDP ratio stood at just 11 per cent, one of the lowest
levels in the world.
Independent power providers are a growing presence
The private sector is increasingly engaged in financing the power sector. Financing for
private participation infrastructure (PPI) has been dominated by telecommunications since
2000, but there has been a sharp increase in investment in electricity. Since 2010, the
electricity sector has attracted around US$4 billion annually.127
Independent power providers (IPPs) have become an increasingly prominent feature
of the energy landscape over the past 15 years. There are now 130 IPPs operating
across Sub-Saharan Africa.128 Over 90 per cent of them were started after 2000.129
Excluding South Africa, cumulative IPP investments amount to an estimated US$8
billion.130 There is evidence of steady growth in IPP-related power-generation capacity.
An additional 977MW of IPP investment reached financial close in 2012 and 2013
bringing the total IPP capacity in Sub-Sahara Africa to 5.8GW – around 6 per cent of
total grid capacity. Another 1.1GW reached financial close in 2014.131
Domestic policy reforms are opening the door to a new wave of public-private
partnerships. Few governments have embraced wholesale liberalization. What has
emerged is a “hybrid market” in which incumbent state-owned utilities continue to occupy
a key role.132 IPPs typically operate through power purchase agreements (PPAs) under
which utilities and regulators agree to purchase electricity at a pre-determined price.
Regulatory systems have also been strengthened. Around 30 countries have established
independent regulators, contributing to improvements in transparency. Some, including
Kenya, Ghana and Uganda, have wholly or partially unbundled generation, transmission
and distribution, in some cases introducing competition at one or more levels.
One of the most striking examples of reforms comes from a country that has been
synonymous with poor governance in the energy sector. Nigeria’s liberalization
programme is one of the most ambitious and largest to have been introduced in the
developing world. At the end of 2010 the National Electric Power Authority was broken
up and 17 generating and distribution companies put up for sale in a US$2.5 billion
tendering process (Box 9).
South Africa’s liberalization experiment is being closely followed by other countries. The
renewable energy programme has seen a total of 64 IPP projects awarded to the private
sector through competitive tendering. Over 100 different shareholder entities have been
involved, almost half of them in more than one project, with investment totalling over
US$14 billion. Once on stream, these projects will generate 3,922MW of renewable
power. Successive rounds of tendering have attracted a wide variety of domestic and
international project developers. Competition has driven down prices without dampening
investor interest.
94
One of the greatest barriers to the
transformation of the power sector
is the low level of tax collection.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
BOX 9 NIGERIA’S ENERGY REFORMS
Constant power outages, inability to expand power generation, restricted access to electricity and corruption have
figured prominently on Nigeria’s charge sheet. Repeated rounds of reform delivered little – but the picture is changing.
Nigeria’s power-sector privatization programme represents Africa’s most ambitious attempt to date to mobilize private
finance for the energy sector. The process began with the break-up of the inefficient National Electric Power Authority
(NEPA). Seventeen state-owned utilities (6 in generation and 11 in distribution) were put up for sale through competitive
tender.
Successful bids brought together a diverse group of Nigerian and international investors. The listed Nigerian
conglomerate Transcorp and US company Symbion Power offered US$300 million for the 932MW Ugheli power
plant. Another consortium of Chinese, Nigerian and British groups secured the 1,020MW Sapele plant.
Forte Oil, a Nigerian company owned by Femi Otedola, together with Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company
and the British Virgin Islands-listed BSG Power, owned by Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, successfully bid US$132m
for the Geregu plant.
The involvement of powerful business figures in Nigeria has been an important factor in the political economy of
reform. Past efforts at liberalization have been derailed by vested interests, ranging from importers of power generators
to incumbents in the power utilities. There are concerns about disclosure of the full beneficial ownership structure of
some companies, but the first hurdle of the reform process has been cleared.
Some of the benefits of the privatization programme are already evident. The Ugheli power plant, one of the largest
in the country, has already increased power generation. However, the journey ahead is likely to prove challenging.
Immediate concerns focus on the financial viability of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET), the agency set up to
act as an intermediary between companies involved in generation and distribution companies. On one estimate,
simply restoring the capacity of the state utilities could require investment of US$4 billion. Meanwhile, the government
estimates that it will require around US$3.5 billion annually in new capital to meet its power generation targets.133 New investment partnerships are emerging and business leaders in Africa have played
a prominent role. The Presidents of Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana joined influential
entrepreneurs Tony Elumelu, Aliko Dangote and other political and economic leaders to
establish the African Energy Leaders Group at the World Economic Forum in Davos in
2015, signalling the new direction. The group aims to promote the long-term investments
and the investment climate needed to transform Africa’s energy sectors.134
African governments have mobilized investment for public-private partnerships. IPPs in
Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania all include government financing. In total, around
one-third of IPPs include equity stakes from African governments.135
While IPPs play a valuable role, their contribution is not without problems. There is a
widespread public perception in Africa that the terms of power purchase agreements are
heavily skewed towards investor interests. That perception is driven partly by a concern
that the risk premium demanded by investors is poorly aligned with real market risk,
especially when governments themselves are providing guarantees and financing the
wider investments (for example, in distribution lines) that generate profits.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
BOX 10 MULTIPLE INVESTORS, COMPLEX DEALS – AFRICA’S EMERGING IPPS
One of the most striking features of energy-financing arrangements in Sub-Saharan Africa is their sheer
complexity. Investor concerns over foreign exchange risk, political risk and the reliability of contractual
agreements all contribute. So too does a tendency to insist on an “Africa risk premium” that may be unrelated
to underlying market conditions.
Azura-Edo, Nigeria: The project was the first fully financed private-sector IPP. In the first phase to 2017, a
450MW open-cycle gas turbine power plant will be built by Azura Power near Benin City, in Edo state.
Azura is owned by Amaya Capital, a Nigerian company, and American Capital Energy & Infrastructure, a US
private equity group. The US$750 million transaction for the first phase comprises US$220 million of equity
and US$530 million of debt from a consortium of 15 banks from nine countries.
The Azura project was the first Nigerian power project to benefit from the World Bank’s Partial Risk Guarantee
structure, with political risk insurance for equity and commercial debt provided through the Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The Nigerian federal government has effectively provided a sovereign
guarantee. This complements a power purchasing agreement between Azura and the state-owned Nigerian
Bulk Electricity Trading Company.
Bujagali, Uganda: The 250MW Bujagali dam project in Uganda was jointly funded by Industrial Promotion
Services (IPS), the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic
Development, Sithe Global Power, a company majority owned by Blackstone Capital Partners, and the
government of Uganda.2 The plant will be operated by Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), a company established
by the project partners to operate and manage the plant for 30 years, following which it will be transferred to
the government of Uganda for a nominal price.
Debt is the principal form of financing. A commercial loan of US$115 million from Standard Chartered and
Absa banks is covered by the World Bank political risk guarantee. The rest of the financing came from other
multilaterals, such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the
African Development Bank (AfDB).
European development finance institutions have been extensively involved, including the French agency
Proparco, Germany’s Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and KfW Group, and
Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). MIGA provided an equity investment guarantee for Sithe
Global of up to US$115 million for a 20-year period, while the World Bank’s International Development
Association provided a partial risk guarantee (PRG).
KivuWatt, Rwanda: KivuWatt is developing a 25MW gas-extraction and power-production facility at a cost
of around US$128 million. The project sponsor is a private company, Contour Global, which has invested
US$35.7 million in equity, with FMO contributing another US$8.9 million. The remaining US$83 million is in
the form of borrowing from AfDB’s private-sector arm, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), Belgian
Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the FMO and the European Financing Partners (EFP).
Even though the project is a private power plant, it has been able to attract about 72 per cent of its funding
from multilateral and bilateral entities.136
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Complexity is another problem. Mobilizing finance for energy infrastructure in Africa
requires navigation through a maze of instruments, approval processes and riskmanagement arrangements. The transaction costs represent a major barrier (Box 10).
Less fragmented and more standardized approaches coordinated through agencies
such as the AfDB could help to cut through the complexity and deliver results earlier.
Private equity investment is an emerging force
Foreign capital flows into Africa have increased sharply, reaching 5 per cent of GDP in
2013.137 Direct foreign investment dominates the transfers. However, the past five years
has also seen a marked increase in private-equity flows, attracted by high dividends in
areas including financial services, telecommunications, consumer goods, construction
and energy.138
Liberalization in the power sector has been a magnet for equity investors. Between
2010 and 2013, there were around 27 private equity investments in energy and natural
resources, with an aggregate value of US$1.2 billion.139
A new generation of investment funds is emerging. The Carlyle Group, which raised
US$591 million on its initial African Fund, is expanding energy infrastructure investments
in East Africa. In February 2015, Helios Investment Partners announced closure of a
heavily oversubscribed US$1.1 billion Africa-focused fund, part of which will target
energy infrastructure.140 In the same month, Actis launched a US$1.9 billion renewable
energy platform, Lekela Power, aimed at funding wind- and solar-power investments over
the next three years.141
Established groups are also expanding their market presence. Sithe Global, part of the
Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private equity companies in infrastructure,
is scaling up Africa operations. During 2014, Blackstone announced a joint project with
Dangote Industries, the Nigeria-registered industrial conglomerate led by Aliko Dangote,
to invest up to US$5 billion over the next five years in energy infrastructure projects
across Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on power, transmission and
pipeline projects.142
Development finance institutions have added to the momentum behind private equity
investment. In 2015 the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries and the UK’s
Commonwealth Development Corporation injected US$225 million into Globaleq,143 one
of the largest foreign equity investors and power-sector operators in Africa. Wholly owned
by Actis, it has eight separate projects across five countries, including two independent
power-generation companies generating 300MW of natural gas-fired power in
Cameroon.144 Another investment fund, the US$250 million ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund,
launched by a partnership of companies in South Africa and Nigeria, in 2013 secured a
US$20 million investment from the AfDB. These examples give a sense of the dynamism in
private-equity markets.
Private-equity investments in the energy sector do generate very large margins.
Shareholders in Uganda’s privatized (and now publicly listed) electricity grid, for
example, get a reported return of 20 per cent a year in dollars on capital investment.
Moreover, government guarantees have effectively reduced the risk of the investment.145
Equity investors themselves identify Sub-Saharan Africa as a more profitable market than
other emerging markets.146
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Unfortunately, what is good for the private interest of the equity investment community
is not necessarily good for the public interest. Private equity investment is not a viable
source of finance for long-term operations or long-term infrastructure financing.
Margins of 15-20 per cent translate into energy prices too high to expand access to
affordable energy. As a general rule, projects should only be carried out as a publicprivate partnership (PPP) if they offer better value for money than public-sector provision.
African governments should exercise far greater caution and scrutiny over private-sector
returns.
International cooperation initiatives are gathering pace – and development finance
is rising
Recent years have seen a step increase in international cooperation on energysector financing. Power Africa has dominated the headlines. However, the Africa-EU
Energy Partnership has also increased support for energy projects. One focal point
for international cooperation is the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa
(PIDA), an African Union initiative that includes 15 major trans-boundary energy projects.
Development finance institutions (DFIs) are also playing an expanded role.
The Brookings Institution has documented the changing role of official development
finance (ODF). Until recently, ODF was dominated by transport, water and sanitation.
Since 2006, however, there has been a sharp increase in energy-related infrastructure
spending from US$305 million in 2006 to US$3.5 billion in 2012 (or one-third of ODF
infrastructure investment).
Separating headline figures from real delivery of development finance for energy
is notoriously difficult. Power Africa has committed US$7 billion over four years, or
US$1.4 billion annually, to energy-sector financing. Much of the proposed financing
will be channelled through loan guarantees provided by the US Export-Import Bank
for projects involving US companies.147 The Overseas Private Investment Corporation
(OPIC), a US government agency, has committed to provide US$1.5 billion to develop
energy projects in Africa through equity and risk guarantees. The aim is to generate an
additional 10GW of power by using development finance to leverage private finance.
The European Union operates an array of energy-related financing initiatives, ranging from
development aid to non-concessional funding. For example, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust
Fund (ITF) combines loans, grants and risk guarantees for energy projects. An Africa-EU
Renewable Energy Programme funds a range of renewable-energy projects.148
The political impetus behind US and EU aid has contributed to the shift in energy-sector
financing. Some of the results can be seen in new projects. Operating under a Power
Africa umbrella, General Electric has committed to bringing 5GW on line in Ghana
and Tanzania by providing technology, expertise and capital.149 European donors
have financed a wide range of PIDA projects, including grants through ITF for electricity
connections between Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Another effect of the
energy focus has been registered in the activities of the development finance institutions
of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.
These DFIs are now part of an elaborate financing architecture, operating alongside
the World Bank and the African Development Bank that has played an important role
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
in supporting IPP financing. With debt financing typically covering around 70 per cent
of project costs, DFI guarantees have been critical to credit provision from commercial
banks and investment decisions by equity investors.150 The level of financing provided
through DFIs is probably in the range of US$3 - 6 billion in total since 2009 and is only
modest relative to energy-sector financing gaps. However, the engagement of the DFIs,
the World Bank and AfDB has unlocked private investment that may not otherwise have
taken place.
As in other areas, the weaknesses of the development finance architecture have to
be recognized. Flows of official development assistance (ODA) and development
finance are likely to remain modest in relation to the scale of Sub-Saharan Africa’s
needs. US and EU development finance transfers for energy average no more than
US$2 billion. Total overseas development finance in 2012 was less than US$4
billion. The array of climate investment funds and the Green Climate Fund provide a
source of low-carbon finance to support renewable energy investments, but the pool
of resources is inadequate – and Africa has been largely bypassed (see Part II).
Opaque reporting systems are another problem. They make it all but impossible to
derive real annual financing levels. The capacity of donors and DFIs for “leveraging” or
unlocking additional private-sector finance is unclear. Reported ratios of private-to-public
finance range from 1:7 for Power Africa to 1:13 for EU energy financing.151 But there
is limited robust, audited evidence to support these figures and the EU’s reported ratios
appear very high. The bottom line is that current levels of development finance fall very
far short of the level required to meet Africa’s energy ambitions.
Enter the dragon – the rise of Chinese energy investment
Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) and other forms of finance in Africa have
increased rapidly in recent years. Chinese state and non-state companies are involved in
a wide range of export, infrastructure development and domestic market activity. China is
now the single largest source of external finance for power-generation investments.
Best estimates put Chinese official finance to Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector in
excess of US$16 billion between 2000 and 2012, which is more than double the
financing for IPPs.152 Some 30 projects have been completed or are under construction,
representing 4.7GW of power for 2012-2014 alone.
The majority of Chinese-supported projects have received funding from the Export-Import
Bank of China (China Exim Bank), which provides soft loans and export credit on the
part of the Chinese government. The 2014 contract to construct the Geba 1 and Geba
2 hydropower developments in Ethiopia was awarded to an Ethiopian company and
two Chinese partners, Sinohydro and China Gezhouba Group, with US$582m in
finance (80 per cent of the total) provided by Exim Bank.153 In many cases, Chinese
finance is one element in a wider package. For example, the Industrial Commercial
Bank of China (ICBC) has agreed to provide US$1.2 billion of the US$2 billion required
to construct a 1,000MW coal-fired electricity plant in Kenya.154
Large hydropower projects dominate China’s energy-financing portfolio in Africa.
Engineering and procurement contracts with Chinese contractors account for around
70 per cent of projects. Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Guinea, Ghana and Cameroon
dominate transfers, although about 16 countries receive some form of Chinese finance.
In some countries there is an overlap between IPP and Chinese finance. The Chinese
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Development Bank provided around 40 per cent of the financing used to underwrite
Sunon Asogli, Ghana’s second IPP, and is part-financing IPP projects in Zambia.
Chinese development finance for energy infrastructure in Africa has been a source of
controversy for traditional aid donors. There are concerns that the finance is motivated by
a need to secure access to Africa’s natural resources on terms favourable to China and
by commercial self-interest. Some aspects of Chinese finance require closer scrutiny. In
particular, the practice of securing debts against future exports of raw materials creates
commercial risks. Transparency is also a concern.
On the other side of the equation, many African governments welcome the speed
at which Chinese finance is disbursed. By contrast with the complex arrangements
surrounding IPP projects, Chinese support also has the merit of operating on a “oneshop” model that combines different types of finance with technical support, including
early-stage technical development.
Illicit financial flows must be tackled
Additional revenues can be mobilized by reducing losses through illicit financial
transfers and narrowing opportunities for tax evasion. In 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa lost
US$69 billion in illicit financial flows, principally as a result of trade misinvoicing (See
infographic: Plugging the gaps).
Five of sub-Saharan Africa’s emerging energy powers – Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique,
Tanzania and Uganda – collectively lost US$6.3 billion annually between 2002 and
2011 through trade misinvoicing, according to research by Global Financial Integrity.
The losses amounted to between 7-13 per cent of total government revenues.
Recent research carried out by Global Witness has raised serious concerns over the
allocation of oil concessions in Liberia, with beneficiaries including companies with links
to known tax evaders. In Nigeria, global companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and ENI
have been investigated for placing investments in companies associated with known
money-launderers. Another set of investigations in the Republic of Congo has drawn
attention to irregular activities involving major global companies and offshore facilities.
G20 countries must act on past commitments to strengthen tax disclosure requirements,
prevent the creation of shell companies, and counteract money-laundering. While the
G20/OECD reforms on base erosion and profit shifting are essential, they must be
extended more rapidly to benefit African nations. The international community should
support African nations to build their capacity both to raise tax domestically and to
protect themselves against illicit financial outflows, especially via trade misinvoicing.
A renewables revolution is under way
Renewable energy is at the forefront of the changes sweeping Africa. Hydropower
continues to dominate the investment landscape, and this is unlikely to change. Yet many
governments have recognized the potential benefits of non-hydro renewable energy.
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PLUGGING THE GAPS
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Illicit outflows are higher than the financing gap for both energy access
and climate adaptation
US$69 billion
Energy sector financing
gap, annual average
(2015-2030)
Estimated annual
financing required for
climate adaptation
(to 2020)
US$55 billion
Sub-Saharan Africa’s
loss in illicit financial
flows in 2012
US$11 billion
CUT ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS
and narrow the opportunities for tax evasion
Over half of Sub-Saharan African countries have now conducted detailed renewable
energy assessments under the auspices of the IRENA.155
The benefits of these sources are even more wide-ranging in the Sub-Saharan
African context than in other countries. Non-hydro renewable energy sources can be
scaled up far more quickly than traditional thermal energy sources and they can be
deployed for on-grid and off-grid electricity supply. Solar, wind and geothermal power
generation offer foreign-exchange savings for countries that have to pay hard currency
to import energy. Moreover, with renewable technology prices in steep decline,
many energy planners are looking to future cost advantages from early investment in
renewable sources.
The Sub-Saharan African experience remains a largely hidden chapter in the renewable
energy story. Yet the region is registering some of the most remarkable advances in solar,
geothermal and wind power. It is not just that renewable power generation is rising fast
from a low base. Some African countries are today in the top tier of renewable energy
innovators (See infographic: Renewable energy in Africa).
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RENEWABLE ENERGY IN AFRICA
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Powering the future, now
NOOR-OUARZAZATE SOLAR COMPLEX
ZERO BLADE WIND CONVERTER
Power for 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018,
saving 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
2.3 times more efficient than traditional wind turbines
and 45% cheaper.
Hydroelectricity is Sudan’s largest source of power
(68% of generation in 2011).
KATENE KADJI
Ethiopia will have one of world’s lowest-carbon
power generation systems by mid 2020s.
Converts local waste into “green charcoal” and
logs that replace charcoal and fuel wood.
ASHEGOLD
One of Africa’s largest wind farms.
Solar energy powers 1/3
of the capital and 10% of
national grid.
M-KOPA SOLAR
Provides ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy for off-grid
customers. US$75 million projected savings
by existing customers.
Tunisia
Morocco
SHARED SOLAR
Solar panels are hooked to
micro-grids
(20 families or fewer)
managed by smart meters.
Users pay via mobile phones.
LAKE TURKANA WIND
POWER PROJECT
Mauritania
Mali
Sudan
Burkina
Faso
Ethiopia
ZAGTOULI SOLAR PV PLANT
Ghana
Zagtouli is set to host West Africa’s largest
solar PV, which is expected to boost energy
production by 6 per cent and meet the needs
of some 40,000 households.
Uganda
Tanzania
Angola
Africa’s largest solar plant
(world’s fourth largest) is under
construction.
Zambia
TOYOLA ENERGY
Namibia
Cleaner efficient cooking stoves have benefited
940,000 people and saved 200,000 tonnes
of CO2 a year.
South
Africa
First public-private project in
Zambia, expected to inject
120MW into national grid and
create 460 direct jobs.
Provides solar energy to rural communities in Namibia.
Saves families over US$7.00 per month in fuel costs.
GRAND INGA
Grand Inga could double Africa’s electricity production
capacity, making it world’s largest infrastructure project.
Fact
Provides women with training
and support to create solar
micro-businesses. Over 1200
entrepreneurs helped to date.
ITEZHI TEZHI POWER
GENERATION PROJECT
ELEPHANT ENERGY
102
Pan-African solar energy
business whose products
have reached about
100,000 people directly,
and 500,000 indirectly.
SOLAR SISTER
Hydro plants generate over 2/3 of
Angola’s electricity.
Hydro potential could be 10 times
current capacity.
Current business
Kenya
HELVETIC SOLAR
GROUP
DRC
NZEMA SOLAR PROJECT
Aims to provide 300MW
to national grid, generating
US$150 million annually
in foreign currency savings
through fuel displacement
costs.
Future project
Since 2010, South Africa has
one of world’s fastest growth
rates for renewable energy
investment.
STUDENT LIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Owned by UK charity SolarAid,
SunnyMoney offers schools affordable
study lights.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Other examples include:
•
Nigeria is rapidly scaling up solar capacity. Agreements signed in 2014 and the
first half of 2015 will take the country across the 5GW threshold. SkyPower FAS
Energy has signed agreements with the federal government and the Delta State
government to develop 3GW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects over
the next five years at an estimated cost of US$5 billion.156 Negotiations to build
another 10GW in capacity through a South Korean firm, HQMC, would also see
the establishment of Africa’s first large-scale solar-panel manufacturing facility.157
•
Kenya is now the world’s ninth largest producer of geothermal energy. Current
plans envisage the doubling of capacity by the end of 2016 through expansion
of the existing Olkaria plant. Kenya is also developing wind power resources. The
Turkana Wind Power Project will add 20 per cent to currently installed capacity.
• One of Africa’s largest wind farms is located in Ethiopia. The 120MW,
84-turbine farm is 780 kilometres north of the capital, Addis Ababa. It was
developed to mitigate the impact of falling water levels in the dry season on
hydropower stations. In 2013 the government announced the development of a
1GW geothermal plan.
• Since 2010, South Africa has registered one of the fastest rates of growth in
the world for renewable energy investment. The Renewable Energy Independent
Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme contracted for US$14 billion of
private-sector investment across 64 projects, ranging from wind farms and solar
PV to biogas.
• The world’s fourth largest solar facility is under construction in western Ghana.
The US$400 million Nzema solar project will include 630,000 solar PV
modules generating 155MW and adding 6 per cent to Ghana’s overall power
generation.158
• In Mauritania, solar energy now powers around one-third of energy use in the
capital city, Nouakchott, and 10 per cent of the national grid. Plans are under
way to commission a 30MW wind farm, increasing the share of renewable
energy in the national energy mix to 45 per cent.
• In Rwanda, Ignite Power has developed a template for connecting all households
on and beyond the grid (Box 11).
The limits of renewable energy development in Sub-Saharan Africa have to be recognized.
In most countries, the portfolio remains underdeveloped despite the potential. As we
highlight below, many countries continue to struggle to attract investment. Moreover, while
renewable technologies have the potential to reach marginalized groups, there is no
automatic link between development of renewable energy and equity in energy. While
Kenya’s national grid is transmitting more geothermal and wind power, the grid itself has
been designed principally to serve urban elites and large commercial farms. The northern
region of Turkana, the site of some ambitious wind-power projects, has some of the
lowest electricity access rates in Africa and the rural poor have seen few benefits from
the growth of geothermal power generation. An obvious danger is that the expanded
flow of electricity will bypass the rural poor en route to commercial farms and middleclass urban suburbs benefits from the growth of geothermal power generation. An
obvious danger is that the expanded flow of electricity will bypass the rural poor en
route to commercial farms and middle-class urban suburbs.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
BOX 11 IGNITING POWER IN RWANDA
Renewable technologies are transforming what is possible through decentralized provision. One example
comes from a private initiative to extend Rwanda’s power into areas beyond the grid.
Ignite Power, the first part of an ambitious plan aimed at achieving universal access to clean energy coverage,
brings together the combined capabilities of many organizations, including Bloomberg New Energy Finance,
the Milken Institute, a Rwandan government partner and several private actors. The first pillar is off-grid solar
technology: a pre-paid system that can power four lights, a radios and televisions, and charge cell phones.
The total cost for a household would start at just over US$1 per week under a “rent-to-own” model.
In September 2014, Ignite Power signed an agreement to install the technology for 250,000 to 1 million
households. Less than three months later a pilot phase of 1,008 units was completed. The company is now
gearing up to provide 750,000 units in the next two years.
The project has lessons that are of wider application. First, it has demonstrated the potential for speedy
delivery, going from vision to plan and deployment in less than two years. Second, the active participation
of government has been critical to the success of the project. The Rwandan government has provided credit
guarantees and, most importantly, a stable planning environment for private investors.159
Regional cooperation is deepening
African governments increasingly recognize the benefits of developing larger regional
markets. Cross-border trade in electricity can help to drive down costs, create economies
of scale and stimulate investment. While current levels of cross-border trade are limited,
the established power pools are deepening and the rise of potential exporters has given
new impetus to the development of regional grids.
Part of the change has been driven by a higher level of ambition in national strategies.
The African Union is backing a US$22 billion project to develop a pan-African electricity
highway by 2020 under the Programme for the Infrastructure Development of Africa
(PIDA). Elements of that highway are starting to emerge. The AfDB and the World Bank
are providing financing to support electricity exports from Ethiopia, including a US$1.5
billion link to Kenya with the capacity to transport up to 2,000MW of power. Kenya has
signed a memorandum of understanding to buy about 400MW. Ethiopia is in talks with
Tanzania for a similar deal.160
In West Africa, governments and donors are financing and implementing project plans
that have spent many years on the shelf. The AfDB in 2014 awarded a US$193 million
grant for a project that will create a 1,400km 225 kilovolt (kV) line to connect the
national networks of Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The power line
is expected to increase the average rate of access to low-cost electricity for 24 million
inhabitants by 5 percentage points, to 33 per cent.161
104
Cross-border trade in electricity
can help to drive down costs,
create economies of scale and
stimulate investment. While
current levels of cross-border
trade are limited, the established
power pools are deepening and
the rise of potential exporters
has given new impetus to the
development of regional grids.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Future opportunities for regional trade far outstrip current practice. Today, only around
5 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s power generation is traded across borders, mostly
in southern Africa. The development of hydropower resources in Ethiopia, natural
gas in Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria, and renewables across many countries
could create vibrant subregional and regional markets. One detailed market analysis
has shown how a trunk gas pipeline originating in Tanzania and Mozambique and
spanning from Ethiopia to South Africa could become the backbone of a regional
energy system reaching 263 major urban areas across eight countries. The benefits of
the infrastructure would reach 185 million people directly and three times that number
indirectly. Increased economic growth and revenue collection could recoup the costs,
expected to be about US$57 billion, over a 20-year period.162
The biggest prize for regional energy cooperation is the Inga III dam in the Democratic
Republic of Congo. While the history of the project provides plenty of causes for
pessimism, there are grounds for guarded optimism. Over the past two years, efforts
to take the project from design to implementation have gathered pace. Negotiations
between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa have explored
contractual arrangements under which Eskom, the state energy provider in South
Africa, could underwrite guaranteed purchase arrangements. Several donors, including
China and the United States, have agreed to work together in mobilizing finance.
Perhaps most encouraging of all, there are proposals to develop the Grand Inga
project in incremental stages that generate early results at affordable cost, building trust
and confidence in the process.
Deeper regional cooperation could greatly reduce the costs of meeting Africa’s goals
of sustainable energy for all. In one scenario developed by McKinsey, regional
integration produces a net saving of US$63 billion, or 14 per cent of total costs,
on investments needed to quadruple electricity generation by 2040.163 Another
modelling exercise suggests that the returns on cross-border transmission investment
could be 20-30 per cent across much of the region, rising to 120 per cent for southern
Africa. These figures bear testimony both to the inefficiencies associated with current
investment practices and to an immense market opportunity.164
The four existing regional power pools provide an embryonic institutional structure for
deeper cooperation.165 Power pools have facilitated dialogue between energy utilities
and made progress in developing standard agreements that will allow trade to grow.
These are all positive developments. However, Africa is very far from the development
of genuinely integrated regional grids. Some of the greatest barriers to such integration
can be traced to governance arrangements. The regulatory challenges evident within
most countries are compounded many times over when utilities seek to operate across
borders. Uncertainty over the enforceability of agreements on purchase prices and
volumes, over-investment by utilities and risk arrangements remain formidable barriers
that only sustained political leadership and cooperation can remove.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Delivering on the promise of energy for all
Twenty years ago, Africa’s telecommunication systems bore many of the hallmarks of today’s
energy systems. Markets were dominated by state monopolies that had little incentive
to extend connections, innovate and invest in new technologies. The result was a highcost, low-coverage telephone system. That was consigned to history by the mobile-phone
revolution, which has driven down charges, connected people and spread into other areas
such as banking. While still embryonic, a parallel process is emerging in the energy sector.
In energy strategies, providing universal access to energy has traditionally taken a distant
second place to expanding power generation. This approach has left the majority of
Africans lacking access to electricity, hampered the development of small and medium
enterprises, and undermined the development of markets for utilities. The end result has
been a vicious cycle of unreliable and unequal power distribution. Rural areas have been
especially badly served. But even in urban areas, where the costs of connecting new
households are far lower, utilities have lacked incentives to expand into low-income areas.
This picture is starting to change. Utility reform, new technologies and new business
models could be every bit as transformative in energy as the mobile phone was for
telecommunications. Governments have been slow to grasp the potential. Energy plans
in many African countries do not envisage universal access by 2030 and adhere to
increasingly anachronistic, centralized, grid-based energy models.
Utility reform can extend the reach of national grids
Emerging energy utility-reform models attach more weight to expanding access. Reform is
arriving at a desperately slow pace, but there is a critical mass of evidence demonstrating
what can be achieved through good practice.
High connection charges remain a major barrier for people and enterprises. The barrier
can be lowered by adopting less stringent technical specifications, spreading payment
over time and subsidizing connections for poor households or marginalized regions. Many
governments have taken such measures as part of wider strategies for achieving universal
access to electricity.166 The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has connected around
60,000 poor households under an Electricity Access Rural Expansion Project, co-funded by
donors.
Tariff charges are also a concern. Households on low incomes would be unable to afford
electricity tariffs in many cases, even if they could get connected. Utilities can reduce the
cost of tariffs by subsidising an initial “lifeline tariff”. This approach has been adopted
but unevenly applied in South Africa.167
Several countries have demonstrated the potential for expanding grid access in rural
areas. In Senegal, successive governments have greatly expanded rural access to
electricity through a distinctive programme of concessions operated through private
companies.168 Concession-holders are required to meet targets for new connections
in poor and remote areas. Government subsidies cover part of the cost of providing
an initial connection, while the private operator recovers their share of capital costs of
connections through monthly payments rather than through up-front charges. The Office
National de l’Electricité (ONE) is committed to increasing both the overall number of
connections and the proportion of connections using renewable energy.
106
Utility reform, new technologies
and new business models could
be every bit as transformative in
energy as the mobile phone was
for telecommunications.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Another example comes from Ghana. Over the past 15 years the country has registered
one of Africa’s fastest growth rates for rural electrification. Around two-thirds of the
country’s rural population has access to electricity, which is seven times the average level
for Sub-Saharan Africa. The national strategy envisages connecting every village of more
than 500 households to the grid by 2020. Aid has played a role. But the strategy is
underpinned by national investment, allied to local government and community-level selfhelp initiatives that have mobilized finance for low-cost connections The success of the
programme can be traced to sustained political leadership across political cycles, longterm planning and a commitment to national investment for rural electrification. Incentives
for community engagement have also played an important role.
Beyond the grid – innovative technologies and business models
New technologies and innovative business models are transforming the potential for
off-grid provision. Prices for renewable mini-grid and stand-alone technologies are
falling. Meanwhile, progressive investors are developing innovative payment systems
to reduce the initial cost of market entry for poor households. Like other regions
around the world, Africa is participating in the early stages of an off-grid revolution.
New technologies and innovative
business models are transforming
the potential for off grid provision.
Prices for renewable mini-grid
and stand-alone technologies are
falling. Progressive investors are
developing innovative payment
systems to reduce the initial
cost of market entry for poor
households.
That revolution is driven by economics. Renewable energy providers are increasingly
competitive off-grid, mirroring the situation for on-grid provision. While hydropower,
geothermal and most biomass-combustion technologies are mature, with limited
potential to reduce costs further, solar and wind generation is likely to see rapid price
declines as technological developments in mature emerging markets and developed
countries penetrate developing countries.169 So steep are the prospective price
declines that they call into question the current utility-based centralized provision
model. Perceptions are still widespread that technologies to generate renewable
power are expensive or uncompetitive. Those perceptions are at best outdated and at
worst a dangerous fallacy.
IRENA estimates that almost 26 million households, an estimated 100 million
people, are served through off-grid renewable energy systems. Some 20 million
of these households are supplied through solar home systems, 5 million through
mini-grids based on renewable sources of energy and 0.8 million through small
wind turbines.170 There is growing evidence to suggest that renewables are now
competitive with alternatives. Oil-price volatility and the high costs of small-scale
diesel-fired electricity generation are exacerbated in remote locations, where
transport costs increase the cost of diesel by 10 per cent to 100 per cent compared
with prices in major cities.171
Solar lighting illustrates the power of technological change. In 2015 the cost of
delivering a single watt of solar power fell to one-quarter of the level in 2008. More
efficient light bulbs have contributed to the steep decline in price. The efficiency of
storage batteries has also improved.
Financing for off-grid provision remains limited, but it is rising fast. In 2014, earlystage investments in off-grid solar companies operating in developing countries stood
at a record US$63.9 million. This was led by two large deals: US$20 million in
debt and grants to Kenya’s M-KOPA Solar and US$23 million in venture funding for
Tanzania-based Off-Grid Electric.172 In the first half of 2015, private-equity firms,
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
venture investors and development banks invested US$42 million in off-grid solar
companies working in developing countries, mostly in Africa.
Market demand in Africa is expanding. On one estimate, 5 per cent of Sub-Saharan
African households now use some form of solar lighting, compared with 1 per cent in
2009. The success of the IFC/World Bank Lighting Africa programme illustrates the
scale of the market. Sales of products registered under the programme have reached
5 million, with demand doubling over the past year. Local manufacturing companies
are expanding their operations, with 39 registered in 2014.
Despite these developments, renewable mini-grid and stand-alone systems have yet to
reach a critical mass. While poor households stand to save over time from adopting
new technologies, the initial capital costs can act as a barrier to entry. Simple solar
lamps can cost US$8- US$12, but the solar panels needed to provide 250 kWh can
cost US$80- US$200. Poor households are often priced out of markets from which
they stand to benefit.
Innovative business models can lower the cost barriers. One example comes from Kenya.
M-KOPA has brought together solar and mobile technology to bring affordable solar
technologies to off-grid villages. Customers pay a small deposit for a solar home system
that would usually retail for US$200, including a solar panel, three ceiling lights, a radio
and charging outlets for mobile phones. The balance is repaid in small instalments on a payas-you-use basis through M-PESA, a widely available mobile payment platform that is used
by a third of the population. The payments are cheaper than the equivalent cost of using
alternative fuels. After several months, customers own their systems outright.
Other companies are building on this model. The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association
(GSMA association of mobile operators) estimates that 60,000 pay-as-you-go solar devices
were sold in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013. The combination of pre-payment and mobilepayment technologies make revenue collection less costly and more efficient. Mini-grids can
also use technical means, such as load limiters, to ensure that household consumption does
not rise above a pre-determined maximum.
Innovative companies have evolved a suite of credit and payment systems for
stand-alone systems sold to households. In Kenya, Azuri Technologies has emerged
as one of Africa’s most dynamic stand-alone solar providers for low-income
households (Box 12). In Uganda, SolarNow, a company established in 2011,
has sold 5,000 off-grid systems. A customized business model allows 80 per cent
of the invoice value to be spread over 18 monthly instalments. This arrangement
lowers the up-front capital costs that might otherwise exclude poor households. The
company has done market projections for rural Uganda and Tanzania and suggests
potential markets could be US$630 million and US$975 million respectively.173
One of the most striking examples of off-grid renewable provision comes from
Bangladesh. As in much of Africa, Bangladesh’s grid has limited reach and is both
inaccessible and unaffordable for millions of households. However, a combination
of upward pressure of demand from poor households and downward pressure from
public policy reform has enabled many of these households to leapfrog the grid into
decentralized solar power (Box 13).
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
BOX 12 AZURI TECHNOLOGIES – BREAKING THROUGH THE PRICE BARRIER IN KENYA
Azuri Technologies in Kenya produces solar home systems that incorporate a pay-as-you-go controller. This is
activated by a code which is obtained by purchasing a scratchcard and is then sent by SMS to Azuri.
Customers pay an initial fee of about US$10 for the installation of the lighting system in their home, comprising
a 2.5 watt peak capacity (Wp) solar PV module, a battery, two LED light bulbs and a USB socket for charging
phones. They pay about US$1.50 for a weekly scratchcard, which is about half of the typical US$3 a
week spent on kerosene for lighting. After 18 months, users can pay a fee of about US$5 to have the system
permanently unlocked or they can upgrade to a larger system.
Following a pilot in 2011, Azuri began commercial sales in Kenya the following year and 2,400 systems had
been installed by March 2013. By 2015, the system was expected to be available in 11 African countries.
An impact study in 2014 found that the main use of the lighting provided by the solar home systems was for
studying and that mobile phone charging was the second most important use of the systems.174
Several governments and donors are supporting the development of off-grid and
mini-grid capabilities. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Water and Energy’s strategic plan
for 2015 indicates dissemination of 150,000 solar home systems, 3,000 institutional
solar PV systems and 300 solar pumps, as well as 3 million solar lanterns in rural
areas. In Tanzania, the Rural Energy Agency is collaborating with private investors and
donors to develop a 10MW small hydropower project. NextGen Solar, a US-based
investor into renewable energy, is undertaking the development of a 5MW solar PV
generation plant in a rural area.
Mobile technology is creating wider opportunities. The rapid spread of mobile-phone
usage across Africa has been accompanied by the spread of an off-grid network of
cellphone towers stretching into the most remote rural areas. There were an estimated
639,000 off-grid base stations in 2012 and the number is rising every month. These
base stations are traditionally powered by diesel generators, though many operators
are now exploring the use of diesel-solar hybrid technologies. Because the power for
the base station is geared towards peak use, there is a large underutilized capacity in
off-peak periods that can be used by local communities.
Reaching people and communities beyond the grid requires more than innovation on
the part of companies. A widespread lack of bank accounts can make it difficult for
households to enter into contracts with energy providers. Financial exclusion represents
another barrier to energy access because it is the poor and particularly those in rural
areas that face the greatest difficulty in meeting up-front payment costs.
Financing is not the only barrier to off-grid renewable energy provision. Reaching critical
mass in market development will require public-private partnerships to provide training
and capacity building, foster the growth of local enterprises through business incubation
and access to enterprise and consumer financing, quality assurance provisions, and
enabling regulations for tariff setting, collection (for example, through the use of mobile
payment platforms) and innovative financing mechanisms.175
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
BOX 13 BANGLADESH’S SOLAR BOOM – GREEN JOBS, BRIGHTER HOMES
Off-grid development has the potential to deliver energy to low-income households and to create jobs.
Bangladesh provides a powerful example for countries across Africa. Households across the country are
leapfrogging a national grid marked by limited reach, low levels of efficiency and high cost. Ten years ago,
there were an estimated 25,000 small photovoltaic systems in the country. That figure has now reached 3.5
million. The boom has created some 114,000 jobs in solar panel assembly.
In 2002, the government launched an off-grid electrification programme implemented through a dedicated
agency, the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), charged with bridging the financing gap
between large-scale and small-scale energy programmes.
IDCOL works through around 30 participating agencies, including many of the country’s largest nongovernment organizations. The agencies provide a grassroots network covering much of the country. IDCOL
supports microcredit schemes for the installation of solar home systems and offers grants to subsidize soft loans
and finance installations.
Solar home systems are small photovoltaic systems that provide a decentralized power supply for individual
users. Peak capacity is limited (typically 10-30 watts) but sufficient for small electrical appliances, lighting and
mobile phone charging. Consumers buy the systems directly from IDCOL’s agency network. The capital cost of
the system is around US$350 and it is financed by a small fixed grant, with the balance covered by microcredit loans. Several donors and development finance institutions, including the Islamic Solidarity Fund for
Development, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have supported the initiative.
The initiative is one element in an ambitious national strategy. Current plans envisage an increase from 5
per cent to 10 per cent in the share of renewable energy in electricity generation. Grameen Shakti, a sister
organization of the Grameen Bank, produces 36MW of solar power across rural Bangladesh and provides
electricity to 280,000 households.176
Making the breakthrough in clean cooking facilities
With national debates focused on national grids, electricity generation and the mix of
fuels used in power generation, insufficient attention has been paid to one of Africa’s
greatest energy challenges: the use of biofuels by households. Replacing or reducing
demand for traditional biomass fuels such as wood and dung and increasing demand
for clean, efficient cooking-stoves would save lives, liberate millions of women and girls
from the drudgery of collecting firewood and generate wide-ranging environmental
benefits. Progress has been painfully slow. Yet evidence from a number of countries
demonstrates that accelerated change is possible.
More efficient cooking-stoves provide a cost-effective way to reduce household air
pollution and the environmental and other risks associated with using solid biomass.
In many rural areas, where alternative fuels are either unavailable or unaffordable,
efficient stoves are often the only practicable way forward. Universal access to clean
cooking stoves in Africa would generate a wide range of “win-win” scenarios. They
would cut the amount that households currently spend on charcoal and firewood, and
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
reduce the health risks that come with household air pollution. The labour demands of
collecting fuelwood would decline and one of the primary drivers of land degradation
and deforestation would be weakened. The transition to clean cooking stoves could
act as a powerful force for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth and limiting
greenhouse gas emissions.
If the benefits are so wide-ranging, why are over 700 million Africans still without clean
cooking stoves? Efficient cooking-stoves can pay for themselves over a few months as
households save money on charcoal expenditure but millions of people cannot afford the
initial cost. Households may view biomass as a “free” good and they may be unaware
of health pollution costs. Governments have limited the take-up of clean cook-stoves
through generalized neglect of household energy needs.
If the benefits are so wideranging, why are over 700
million Africans still without
clean cooking stoves?
Governments have limited the
take-up of clean cook-stoves
through generalized neglect
of household energy needs.
Recent years have seen a new momentum in efforts to overcome these barriers. Many
countries in Africa, including Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and Nigeria, have integrated the
promotion of clean cooking stoves in rural areas into national energy strategies.
Innovative business models are seeking to overcome the constraint posed by poverty on
market demand for efficient stoves. In Ghana, local company Toyola Energy Limited (TEL)
has successfully entered the market and sold over 400,000 units between 2009 and
2014. In Mali Katene Kadji company has developed an efficient stove that costs less
than US$6.
Several lessons emerge from the experience of companies such as Toyola and Katene
Kadji. Both struggled to mobilize credit from commercial banks during the early stages
of their development and expansion. Another constraint is that most of their customers
are excluded from the financial institutions that provide savings and credit facilities. Both
companies were able partially to overcome financial constraints of their domestic markets
through recourse to carbon financing and support from international aid agencies. More
systemic solutions will require the development of banking systems equipped to respond
to the financing needs of viable small enterprises, along with measures to overcome
financial exclusion in rural areas.
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112
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
02
−
AFRICA’S
OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD
ON CLIMATE
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
More than any other issue, climate change confronts people and governments around
the world with the reality of our interdependence. International cooperation and
multilateralism represent our only source of protection. Our mutual vulnerability provides
an incentive and an opportunity to act on the basis of human solidarity, shared values
and respect for universal rights. As the UN secretary-general’s Special Envoy on Climate
Change, Mary Robinson, has said, climate justice is the cause of our day – a cause
that crosses the boundaries that separate nations.
Climate change also provides another opportunity. Global warming is the product of
a misalignment between the energy systems that power economies and Planet Earth’s
ecological systems. As a global community, we are living beyond our planetary
boundaries. Correcting the misalignment demands a fundamental rethink of the
carbon-intensive route to development that countries around the world have followed
since the industrial revolution. More than that, it demands that governments, investors,
firms and citizens work together to develop and deploy the low-carbon technologies
that can sustain growth within our planetary boundaries.
Change is already under way. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
has comprehensively shattered the myth that societies have to choose between
economic growth and jobs on the one hand and climate stability on the other. There is
no trade-off. Shifting towards low-carbon energy systems can avert climate catastrophe
while creating new opportunities for investment, growth and job creation. The challenge
is to put in place the low-carbon infrastructure investment, the urban-planning models
and the changed land-use practices before it is too late.
Sub-Saharan Africa has a great deal at stake in international cooperation on climate.
Impressive human development gains are taking place but climate change has the
potential to reverse these in the second half of the 21st century.
Viewed from the other end of the telescope, Africa is part of the climate opportunity.
Climate change has given an added urgency to the development of policies that
should be introduced irrespective of the climate threat. These are policies that the Africa
Progress Panel has advocated over many years. African governments should be doing
far more to develop the more resilient agricultural systems needed to manage climate
risk, raise productivity and strengthen food security. Tackling the inequalities that have
accompanied the recent growth surge and expanding social-protection systems could
generate gains for climate resilience and development. And as we highlight in Part I,
Africa’s energy planners have an opportunity to ride the global wave of innovation that
has brought the world to the cusp of a renewable energy revolution.
Africa is also well placed to contribute to international action on climate. While the
region cannot make a premature leap into a wholly low-carbon future, it has the
potential to scale up the renewable energy investments needed today to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in the future. Africa stands to gain from increased lowcarbon power generation and expanded access to modern energy; the world stands
to gain from avoiding “lock-in” of carbon-intensive energy systems.
Win-win scenarios are also present in agriculture and land-use. Today, rural poverty
and unsustainable energy-use patterns are driving deforestation and land degradation.
Africa is depleting ecological assets of great social, economic and environmental
114
Our mutual vulnerability provides
an incentive and an opportunity
to act on the basis of human
solidarity, share values and
respects for universal rights.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
value. The world is losing vital carbon sinks and the carbon generated by dependence
on fuel-wood and charcoal is polluting the atmosphere. As we show here, there is an
alternative that is good for reducing poverty and improving people’s lives in Africa,
and good for the planet.
This part of the report looks at Africa’s stake in the climate challenge. It is divided
into three sections. The first looks at the global deal and why it matters for Africa. The
second section outlines priorities for the Paris negotiations. Climate justice for Africa
demands that the Paris climate summit sets the world on a course that will keep global
warming below 2˚C, with a realistic prospect of restricting the increase to 1.5˚C
by the end of the 21st century. Current policies and pledges of action will leave the
world far from the trajectory needed to stay below a 2˚C increase, with potentially
disastrous consequences for Africa. The third section looks at climate finance, one of
the key building blocks for an ambitious agreement. It argues that the current financing
architecture is comprehensively failing Africa, and sets out directions for reform.
“We have a mandate from
science, from our people, from
the African continent and from the
UN itself to strive for enhanced
global climate activities to reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
and strengthen adaptation.”
Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan,
Chair, African Group of Negotiators
under the UNFCCC 2014-2015
AFRICA’S STAKE IN THE GLOBAL DEAL
Climate change is the point at which two of Africa’s most pressing policy challenges
come together. The first, dealt with in the first section of this report, is the energy
challenge. Energy systems in many countries are geared towards providing subsidized
energy, based on fossil fuels, to a small minority. These systems are a constraint
on economic growth and a source of inequality. The second challenge relates to
agriculture. In Africa, agriculture accounts for two-thirds of livelihoods and food
accounts for two-thirds of poor people’s household budgets. Sustaining growth,
reducing poverty and making progress in other areas of human development depend
critically on increasing agricultural productivity. In the absence of these gains, rising
prices will undermine food security, hold back urbanization and inflate wage costs,
with damaging prospects for investment, employment and Africa’s competitive position
in the global economy.
There is another reason to place agriculture at the heart of Africa’s climate priorities.
A consistent theme to emerge from global and regional macro-economic modelling of
climate-change impacts is that asset-poor people in rural areas face the greatest risks.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified Sub-Saharan
Africa as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change.177 This is because of
the dependence of agriculture in the region on rainfall, the high levels of background
poverty and the combined impact of higher food prices and lower yields.178
Viewed from the perspective of the climate negotiations, both Africa and the wider
international community have reasons to prioritize agriculture. To the extent that
Africa’s carbon footprint registers in the Earth’s atmosphere it is a land-use footprint.
Excluding land use, the region’s share of greenhouse gas emissions is minuscule.
In 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa (minus South Africa) emitted only 2 per cent of total
global emissions of greenhouse gases (Figures 32 and 33). It would take the average
Ethiopian 240 years to register the same carbon footprint as the average American.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 32 AFRICA ACCOUNTS FOR A SMALL SHARE OF CARBON EMISSIONS
SHARE OF TOTAL CO2 EMISSIONS FROM
CONSUMPTION OF ENERGY (PERCENT, 2012)
TOTAL CO2 EMISSIONS FROM CONSUMPTION OF ENERGY
(MILLION METRIC TONS, 2012)
1+2+612162538
8,106
8000
0.8
7000
Sub-Saharan Africa
excluding South Africa
5.7
6000
Million metric tons
1.5
5,270
5000
South Africa
11.7
3,776
4000
3000
1000
0
China
United
States
EU-27
India
EU-27
United States
16.3
1,831
2000
India
38.9
473
268
South
Africa
Sub-Saharan
Africa
excluding
South Africa
China
Others
25.1
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Consumption of Energy
(Million Metric Tons).
FIGURE 33 AFRICA’S SHALLOW CARBON FOOTPRINT: TOTAL CO2 EMISSIONS FROM CONSUMPTION
OF ENERGY PER CAPITA (METRIC TONS, 2012)
18
6
14
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2012). International Energy Statistics: Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Consumption of Energy
(Million Metric Tons).
116
Ethiopia
0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1
Tanzania
0
Mozambique
1.8 1.5
Kenya
2.5
2
Ghana
4
Senegal
Sub-Saharan
Africa
excluding
South Africa
India
SubSaharan
Africa
Indonesia
South
Asia
6.0
6
Brazil
Latin
America
and the
Caribbean
0.3
7.8
China
East Asia
and
Pacific
0.8
9.1
8
United Kingdom
1.3
1
9.8
10
Germany
2
12
South Africa
2.8
3
United States
4
0
16.8
16
Million metric tons
Million metric tons
5
5.1
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Under the IEA’s baseline energy scenario to 2040, power generation in SubSaharan Africa would quadruple but the region’s share of global CO2 emissions
would increase only from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. Around two-thirds of the region’s
emissions (excluding Nigeria and South Africa) can be traced to land use. While the
precise mix varies across countries, agriculture and livestock dominate, with forest
degradation and deforestation contributing the balance. Much of that balance is
intimately tied to the production of charcoal, an US$8 billion-a-year industry that
accounted for about half of all tree removals between 2000 and 2010.179
This backdrop has important implications for how African governments approach the climate
negotiations. Given that land use dominates the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, there
is a widespread, though often unstated, concern that any activities aimed at reducing or
mitigating emissions might hurt the interests of rural populations facing the greatest climate
risks despite carrying the smallest burden of responsibility. Similarly, with power generation
producing modest greenhouse gas emissions, there is a view that Africa has much to lose
from any commitments to mitigate while the world has little to gain.
These are misperceptions. Agriculture and land use is an area in which there are triple
wins available for agricultural productivity, climate resilience and climate mitigation. As
in other areas identified by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, the
widely feared trade-offs are more imagined than real. In the case of power generation,
international support for renewable energy today would expand the choices open
to policymakers and help countries avoid the high carbon lock-in that China and
others are now seeking to escape. Here, too, there are triple-win scenarios. As we
highlighted in Part I, renewable technologies have the potential to support utility-scale
grid development and reach rural areas beyond the grid, creating opportunities for
increased productivity, greater resilience and long-term carbon mitigation, even if that
is modest on a current scale.
The world is heading for dangerous climate change
The agreement to be negotiated in Paris aims at two different but related global-warming
limits. Keeping warming below a 2˚C increase above pre-industrial levels is a longstanding commitment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) and agreed at the 2010 climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.
The second target centres on reducing global warming to below 1.5˚C by 2100.
Some commentators have questioned the scientific and political basis for the 2˚C
target.180 But there is compelling scientific evidence that warming above this level will
be associated with potentially catastrophic effects as ice sheets collapse, oceans warm
and thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gases.181
Climate science provides the basic roadmap for avoiding dangerous climate
change. Because the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb greenhouse gases
without generating heat-trapping warming effects is fixed, scientists have been able to
determine a “carbon budget” for the 21st century consistent with staying within 2˚C.
That budget is around the equivalent of 1,000 gigatonnes of CO2 (GtCO2e). On
current trends, that budget will be exhausted between 2040 and 2050. Emissions
are projected under a wide range of scenarios to rise from 49 GtCO2e a year to
87 GtCO2e by 2050.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Climate modelling converts these scenarios into global-warming probabilities. At the
greenhouse gas concentration levels in prospect under current trajectories, the likelihood
of staying below 2˚C is extremely small. Temperatures at the end of the 21st century
could be more than 4˚C above pre-industrial levels, and Sub-Saharan Africa could
experience warming of 5˚C above the baseline towards the end of the 21st century
or in the following century.182 The risks associated with such an outcome for the lives,
livelihoods and security of future generations are beyond estimation. So too are the
implications for Africa’s development prospects.
What would it take to get the world on track for avoiding dangerous climate change?
To summarize a complex issue briefly, retaining a likelihood of staying below 2˚C will
require:183
• greenhouse gas emission reductions of 40-70 per cent by 2050 from 2010
levels, with zero emissions by 2080-2100.
• global energy and industry CO2 emissions reaching zero by 2060-2075.
Keeping within a 1.5˚C threshold will require more exacting measures. The date for
reaching zero emissions is 20 years earlier and the required cuts by 2050 are in
the range 70-95 per cent.184 Most of the scenarios for a 1.5˚C threshold involve an
overshoot, with deep net emission reductions in the second half of the 21st century.
Delayed action would be fatal, because the effects of greenhouse gas emissions
are cumulative. In contrast to the Doha Round of trade talks, for example, where
negotiations continued for over a decade with no tangible damage to the world
trading system, inertia in the climate system means that inaction today locks in future
warming. Around half of CO2 emissions are dissipated over decades, but the other
half remains in the atmosphere for over a century. Current emissions therefore produce
warming effects that are for all practical purposes irreversible for future generations.
The weaker the measures introduced today, the more stringent the action needed in the
future. Early action on mitigation expands the carbon budget available in future years,
and increases the likelihood of staying within a 2˚C increase.
Africa is facing acute climate risks
Climate change impacts will be transmitted through a complex array of mechanisms.
The effects on individual countries, and parts of countries, will depend on specific
social, economic and environmental circumstances. Many effects will be associated
with water in the form of drought, floods, uncertain rainfall and stress on watersheds
and river systems. Part of the region’s vulnerability can be traced to the fact that over 90
per cent of agriculture is dependent on rainfall.
The following are among the effects predicted by a range of modelling exercises.
•
118
Agricultural yields and food security: The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment concluded that
“climate change is very likely to have an overall negative effect on yields of major
cereals crops across Africa.”185 Significant crop effects are already being felt. Even
under warming of less than 2°C by the 2050s, total crop production could be
reduced by 10 per cent.186 Across the region, yields of maize are predicted to
decline sharply by 2050, with average predicted losses on this basic food staple
ranging from 5 per cent for the region overall to 11 per cent in southern Africa.187
“The outcomes of the negotiation
of a future legal outcome should
provide for developmental
priorities of Africa, whilst ensuring
adequacy of a global emission
reduction effort to keep the
continent safe.”
Xolisa Ngwadla,
African Group of Negotiators Lead Coordinator
on the Ad-hoc working group on the Durban
Platform.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Models for the Sahel predict a 20 per cent decline in yields for millet and a 13
per cent decline for maize. For higher levels of warming, yields may decrease by
around 15–20 per cent across all crops and regions.188
•
Extreme climate events: As global warming levels increase, drought, heat waves
and heavy rainfall will become more pronounced. Southern Africa faces the risk of
more severe and protracted droughts and periods of extremely low and extremely
high rainfall could become more common. Climate models are broadly consistent
in predicting that rains will be heavier, particularly in the wetter areas of tropical
Africa, increasing flood hazards. Eastern Africa is projected to become wetter.
As exposure to flood risk goes up, socio-economic losses will increase, especially
in smaller catchments that are prone to flash floods and have high population
densities.189 Unprecedented heat extremes are projected over an increasing
percentage of land area as warming goes from 2˚C to 4˚C, resulting in significant
changes in vegetative cover and putting some species at risk of extinction. Heat and
drought would also result in severe losses of livestock.
•
Groundwater: Most Africans rely on groundwater for domestic supply, particularly in
rural areas. Precipitation changes could substantially limit water availability in some
regions. One model for southern and west Africa predicts decreases in groundwater
recharge rates of 50–70 per cent.190 The combination of changes in the flow of
streams and rising temperatures is also expected to have broadly negative impacts
on freshwater ecosystems and water quality.191 In other regions, such as the Horn of
Africa, greater rainfall could increase groundwater levels.
•
Rising sea levels: Global mean sea levels in the last two decades of the 21st century
will be 45-82 centimetres (cm) higher under a high-emission scenario. This implies
significant risks for Africa’s coastal settlements and emerging mega-cities such as
Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Accra and Maputo. Estimates of risk vary. One model,
based on a 40-cm rise in sea levels, puts the number of people threatened by
flooding in the four worst affected countries – Cameroon, Mozambique, Senegal
and Tanzania – at 10 million. There are high concentrations of poverty and low
levels of investment in drainage and flood defences in many of the areas under
most-immediate threat.
•
Energy-sector impacts: Climate change could have far-reaching consequences for
Africa’s energy systems, principally through its impact on hydropower. Increased
rainfall and run-off could raise capacity to generate hydropower in East Africa
but have the opposite effect in parts of West and Southern Africa.192 Increased
evaporation will affect the level of “stored” energy in reservoirs, while increasing
temperatures can be expected to boost demand for water resources from other
sectors, such as for irrigation, intensifying water scarcity.193
•
Health: Warmer temperatures and, in some subregions, more water could enable
disease-carrying insects to spread to new latitudes. Increased flooding in urban
coastal areas lacking sanitation and waste-disposal infrastructure could increase
human exposure to a range of infectious diseases. Changes in agricultural
productivity could also have long-term health implications, including child
malnutrition.
•
Fisheries: Marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and the fisheries that depend on
them, are expected to be among the natural systems affected the earliest by climatic
changes.194 Coral reefs off the coasts of Africa are very likely to experience thermal
stress by 2050 at warming levels of 1.5˚C–2˚C above pre-industrial levels and
there is likely to be a severe coral-bleaching event once, or more, every ten years.
Most coral reefs are projected to be extinct long before 4˚C warming is reached,
with associated losses for marine fisheries, tourism and coastal protection. Evidence
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
on fish stocks is more limited, but worrying. One study projects losses in maximum
catch potential of up to 50 per cent along the West African coast from Gabon to
Mauritania, harming communities that depend on fish for protein.195
Presenting evidence from modelling exercises in this fashion does not capture the full
magnitude of the risks. Climate-change effects will not occur in isolation but will interact
with wider forces. Economic growth, population growth and urbanization are already
increasing pressure on land and water resources. Changes will occur incrementally, but
for the millions of Africans living close to the margins of survival, it only requires a small
increment in risk to be pushed over the edge into an inescapable poverty trap.
Climate is already among the most potent risk factors for poverty. Climate change is a
risk multiplier. Recent experience illustrates the power of climate to send development
into reverse. The floods that swept across Malawi in January 2015 displaced
250,000 people, destroyed homes, crops and productive assets, and led to an
increase in infectious diseases. In 2010, a severe drought affected 10 million people
across Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Niger. The loss of livestock and crops increased
food prices and left 7.1 million people hungry in Niger alone. The 2011 drought in
the Horn of Africa caused up to 100,000 deaths, half of them among children under
5, and widespread malnutrition; 13 million people required life-saving assistance.
It should be emphasized that it is not possible to attribute specific climate events to
human-induced climate change. However, the United Kingdom’s Met Office attributes
24-99 per cent of the increased risk of the dry conditions seen during the East African
long rains season of 2011 to human influence on climate.196
Infrastructure deficits magnify the risks. Irrigation and water-storage systems provide a
vital buffer against rainfall variability. Yet only around 5 per cent of Africa’s cultivated
land is irrigated and storage capacity is the lowest of any region.197 On one estimate
Mozambique’s GDP growth is reduced by 1 percentage point annually because of
water shocks.198 These economic impacts fall disproportionately on poorer people,
who depend on rain-fed agriculture and unprotected domestic water sources, and are
exposed to more frequent floods and droughts.199
Wider macro-economic effects will be transmitted through the energy system. Much of East
Africa and West Africa already experiences high levels of power outages during the dry
season. In 2011, the Tanzania energy utility TANESCO announced indefinite 12-hour
power cuts as lower water levels reduced generation capacity at hydropower dams. The
power cuts lowered GDP growth by 1 percentage point. Reduced energy levels will hold
back growth, with implications for job creation and vulnerability to climate-change effects.
Disruption of agriculture will affect food prices, wages and malnutrition.
Uncertainty is fundamental to climate change. This is because of the time-scales over which
climate change is expected to occur and the limitations of climate models in predicting the
location, timing and scale of impacts. The limitations are especially marked in Sub-Saharan
Africa because of the gaps in data from climate observation. In Africa, over 80 percent
of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services are unable to adequately provide
ground observation data and related warnings. Uncertainty does not mean action should
be postponed. It means that decision-makers have to commit to investments that reflect likely
climate risks (for example, in water harvesting and the development of infrastructure) while
strengthening resilience and lowering the background risks that come with poverty and low
productivity.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Poor households will bear the brunt
Whatever the precise nature, timing and location of the impacts of climate change, the poor
will bear the brunt. The earliest and most damaging impacts will be felt by those whose
livelihoods are most prone to risks caused by the climate. These include, for example,
smallholder farmers and pastoralists who depend on rain-fed agriculture, live in marginal
areas and have the most limited human, financial and physical coping mechanisms.200
Background poverty, allied to the limited reach of welfare safety nets and underdeveloped
infrastructure, is at the heart of Africa’s vulnerability. Despite some gains over the past
decade, the region has the world’s highest incidence of poverty (47 per cent) and by some
distance the greatest depth of poverty. The income, measured by consumption level, of the
average person living on less than US$1.25 a day is just US$0.74 a day.
Poverty is most widespread and most intense in rural areas. According to the International
Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 60 per cent of rural Africans live on less than
US$1.25 a day and 90 per cent on less than US$2 a day.201 At these levels of income,
even moderate climate shocks such as delayed rainfall or a slightly more protracted dryseason can have grave consequences. More extreme climate events can have catastrophic
outcomes, leading to persistent welfare losses. The Human Development Report of the
United Nations Development Programme found that children in Kenya aged 5 years old
or younger were 36 per cent more likely to be malnourished if they were born during a
drought year in their district, and children in Tanzania 50 per cent more likely.202 Even 10
years after a 1990s drought in Ethiopia and Tanzania, the consumption levels of poor
households remained 17 to 40 per cent below the levels before the drought.203
Confronted with climate-related shocks that lead to losses of crops and livestock or increased
food prices, the poor may have little alternative but to cut vital expenditure or sell productive
assets. Distress selling of assets in turn creates a vicious circle, reducing productivity and
increasing vulnerability to future climate-shocks. Rebuilding livelihoods and restoring assets
may prove impossible or take a very long time, trapping households in poverty.204
Lacking access to formal insurance, rural populations use their limited savings to guard
against risk, which means they are effectively directing their potential investment funds
into self-insurance. Data is available for 36 countries and in 34 of these resources put
aside to cover emergencies accounted for over half of total savings, rising to more
than 80 per cent for Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. There is evidence to suggest that
uninsured risk itself deters farmers from investing in more productive crops varieties.205
There is a vicious circle linking climate change to rural poverty
Raising agricultural productivity is an imperative. The agricultural sector not only
supports the livelihoods of most Africans and underpins national food security, it also
accounts for 14 per cent of GDP. Agricultural growth is twice as effective in reducing
poverty as growth in non-agricultural sectors.206 The underlying problems holding
back productivity were analysed extensively in last year’s Africa Progress Report.207
While country circumstances vary, under-investment in rural infrastructure, barriers
to cross-border trade, limited agricultural research and development, and restricted
development of water resources figure prominently.
It is often argued that the region’s future will be increasingly urban. This is correct, but
urbanization without increased rural productivity is a prescription for food insecurity, rising
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
food prices and increased wage costs, which will in turn limit employment and investment.
Without higher levels of agricultural productivity rural areas will get left further behind,
weakening the link between growth and poverty reduction, and reinforcing inequality.
Failure to increase agricultural productivity will not only exacerbate vulnerability to climate
change and undermine prospects for inclusive growth, but also exacerbate a critical but
much neglected aspect of the global climate crisis: the damaging interaction between
climate, ecological degradation and poverty.
The loss of ecological resources is a source of local vulnerability and global warming.
Changes in agriculture, forestry and land-use patterns are responsible for emissions
equivalent to 10-12 GtCO2e, one-quarter of the global total.208 Africa accounts for
around 20 per cent of these emissions, divided on a roughly equal basis between
agriculture, forestry and land use. Its emissions are growing at 1-2 per cent a year.209
These agriculture, forestry and land-use changes account for about half of total emissions
for Sub-Saharan Africa, and the share is rising.
Low agricultural productivity is one of the most powerful causes of land degradation in
Africa. The region’s farmers have increased output not by boosting productivity but by
bringing more land under cultivation.210 Limited access to fertilizer, high-yielding seeds and
irrigation contributes to low productivity levels. Climate risk could ratchet the effect even
further. As household incomes fall and investment in seeds and fertilizer declines, smallholder
farmers may be forced to further extend the margin of cultivation.211
Low productivity has intersected with population growth, urbanization and demand for
biomass energy sources to create acute pressure on land and forestry resources.
FIGURE 34 DEMAND FOR FUELWOOD AND CHARCOAL IS DRIVING FOREST DEGRADATION IN AFRICA
PROPORTION OF FOREST DEGRADATION DRIVERS
100
Livestock grazing in forest
90
Uncontrolled fires
80
Fuelwood charcoal
Percent
70
Timber logging
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Africa
Latin
America
(Sub)tropical
Asia
Data source: Kissinger, G., M. Herold, and De Sy, V. (2012). Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: A synthesis report for REDD+ policymakers.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Around 2 million hectares of forest were lost annually in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000
and 2010.212 Commercial and subsistence agriculture account for some 70 per cent of
forest loss, while firewood collection and charcoal production are the primary causes of
forest degradation, followed by logging (Figure 34).
Forestry resources provide vital ecological services, maintain biodiversity and provide
a source for food, fuel and building materials. Moreover, because forestry resources
are freely available, they often serve as a safety net for the rural poor.213 Treating
forestry resources as a “free good” ignores the very real costs of depleting the assets
on which so many people depend.
Reversing the vicious circle – raising productivity, building resilience
and valuing ecology 214
Failure to tackle low productivity in agriculture will compromise Africa’s development.
Conversely, higher productivity would open up new national, regional and global
market opportunities and help to drive a more equitable pattern of growth. The
extent of the opportunity should not be underestimated. Import substitution is one such
opportunity. Food imports reached a record high in 2011, when the region’s total
agricultural imports from all suppliers reached US$43.6 billion.215 With the right
investments, Africa’s farmers could displace a large share of these imports, helping to
reduce rural poverty.
Restoring degraded agricultural land provides another mechanism for turning the
vicious circle into a virtuous circle of rising smallholder income, reduced vulnerability
and strengthened national food security. There would be significant global benefits
whose effect stretches beyond Africa in the form of reduced emissions related to
agriculture, forestry and land use. Africa has the potential to demonstrate global
leadership in this area, which is of vital importance for international efforts to combat
climate change.
Several countries are already providing that leadership. One of the most striking
examples comes from Niger, where smallholder farmers have transformed the
productivity and sustainability of agriculture across 5 million hectares of land.216 The
key in this case was the introduction of legal reforms providing communities with a
stake in the conservation of trees (Box 14).
Another example comes from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where communities have
developed and successfully implemented strategies regulating access to communal
grazing areas in order to combat land degradation. The government has scaled up
these local initiatives through a national policy framework, increasing farm incomes
and reducing poverty.
Some governments have put sustainability at the centre of wider agricultural strategies.
Rwanda has the highest population density in Africa and 90 per cent of arable land is
located on hillsides dominated by small farms. Soil erosion is a major threat. In 2008
the government adopted a Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation
Programme that invests in terraces, bunds (low retaining walls) and small-scale water
harvesting. Some 20,000 hectares of land has been covered, with co-financing of
US$140 million from the World Bank, a group of bilateral donors and the Global
Agriculture and Food Security Programme. Yields have increased by 30 per cent for
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BOX 14 NIGER’S SMALLHOLDER FARMERS LEAD THE WAY FOR SUSTAINABLE LAND USE
Niger’s farmer-led approach to agroforestry demonstrates how a policy change can substantially improve livelihoods
while contributing to both adaptation and mitigation.
Smallholder farmers have introduced sustainable practices on 5 million hectares of land through sparse inter-planting of
nitrogen-fixing trees. Tree and shrub cover has increased 10-to 20-fold, and 250,000 hectares of severely degraded
soils have been reclaimed. Since the programme started in the early 1990s, 200 million trees have been planted.
The changes in Niger can be traced to legislation adopted in the 1990s. Rights of tree-ownership were transferred from
the state to farmers, who responded by planting, protecting and managing tree resources that were previously seen as a
“free good”.
There have been impressive gains. Farm yields have increased by at least 100 kilograms (kg) per hectare.217 Gross real
annual income has grown by US$1,000 per household for over a million households, more than doubling real farm
incomes and stimulating local non-farm services.218 The programme has also lowered greenhouse gas emissions as the
agroforestry parklands sequester 1.6-10 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per hectare, and this figure could
increase significantly as these trees age.219
These agroforestry techniques have spread to other countries in the Sahel. On the Seno Plains in Mali, around 450,000
hectares of previously degraded area now has medium or high tree-density. Some 300 million hectares of land in
Sub-Saharan Africa is suitable for similar land management techniques. Coverage of just one quarter of this land could
provide 285 million people with an additional 615 kcal per day per person in the zones concerned.220
maize and 167 per cent for beans. This is a far more effective model for responding
to climate change and poverty risks than the small-scale adaptation projects supported
through the current climate-finance architecture.221
One striking feature of the successful land conservation programmes in Niger and
Ethiopia is their scale. These are national and local programmes that have been
integrated into wider strategies. Similar approaches are needed for adaptation in
agriculture. While millions of farmers across Africa are adapting to climate risk with
every season, far too much of the national and international response has been
geared towards small-scale projects, rather than transformative national programmes.
Smallholder farmers are already demonstrating an extraordinary level of ambition and
innovation in adapting to climate risk. Research has identified the development of
new and the restoration of old approaches to water harvesting, soil management and
inter-cropping.222 To take one example from Burkina Faso, farmers are digging small
holes or planting pits on barren, degraded land and filling them with organic matter,
adding nutrients to the soil where they sow their crops. They also construct stone
lines on their farmland to slow water runoff, prevent erosion, and assist in recharging
the groundwater. Applying small quantities of fertilizer directly to seeded crops or
young shoots early in the rainy season can complement these low-tech land and
124
Smallholder farmers are already
demonstrating an extraordinary
level of ambition and innovation
in adapting to climate risk.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
water management techniques. These practices have reportedly more than doubled
millet and sorghum yields and allowed farmers to restore degraded land completely,
bringing up to 300,000 hectares into cultivation.223
Social protection, climate and energy
The case for “climate-smart” agriculture may be self-evident and the project evidence
compelling, but building resilience requires action at an appropriate scale through
national agricultural strategies. When social-protection programmes are built into these
strategies, they help to mitigate climate risk, support productive investment and boost
growth.
What is possible in social protection is contingent on financial and institutional
capacity. Cash transfers, safety nets, social insurance programmes and other measures
can all play a role in strengthening resilience. By preventing households from falling
deeper into poverty, such programmes also provide a platform for early recovery.224
Evaluations of Ethiopia‘s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which provides
cash and food transfers in drought-prone areas, show that 60 per cent of beneficiaries
avoided having to sell productive assets to buy food and achieved a larger increase
of assets over time.225 About 20 per cent of Ethiopia’s total PSNP budget is held
as contingency funds, used to respond to unpredictable increases in demand for
assistance. In 2008, these funds were used to provide additional transfers to 4.43
million beneficiaries affected by severe drought and rising food prices.226
Some countries in Africa are scaling up social-protection programmes, including
Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. Rwanda’s latest National Social Protection Strategy
emphasizes “climate-proofing” the country’s national development strategy.227 Far
more could be done to increase the reach and effectiveness of these programmes
through increased investment, better targeting and integrating climate-risk assessments
into design and implementation. Part of the additional finance required could be
made available by reducing the energy subsidies that principally benefit high-income
households.
Social protection is neither a panacea nor a stand-alone strategy, however. Effective
adaptation to climate change requires a coherent strategy for managing systemic
climate risk. The experience of Ethiopia is instructive because it marks an attempt to
develop an integrated national strategy (Box 15).
One area in which African governments can provide leadership in the global climate
negotiations is in approaches to adaptation. Climate change has brought in its wake
a new aid industry associated with adaptation. The overall intention of building the
resilience needed to cope with emerging climate risks is commendable. However,
aid for adaptation practices has suffered from a small-scale, project-based approach
that is ill-equipped to respond to the emerging risks facing farmers across Africa. The
IPCC Fifth Assessment Report called for a new model of “transformative adaptation”
that “changes the fundamental attributes of a system in response to climate and its
effects.”228 African governments should champion this approach by pressing for a
fundamental overhaul of the current climate finance architecture for adaptation.
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BOX 15 ETHIOPIA’S CLIMATE RESILIENT GREEN ECONOMY STRATEGY
High levels of rural poverty, coupled with ecological stress on land and water resources, and rapid population growth
make Ethiopia acutely vulnerable to climate change. The 2011 Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy marks
a bold response to the challenges facing the country, but its success will depend critically on international support.
Two main strands make up the CRGE strategy: the first focuses on the green economy, where the strategy identifies four
priority investments – in hydropower development, rural cooking technologies, the livestock value chain and forestry
development. The second strand addresses climate resilience, with agriculture identified as a priority. The annual
investment required for implementing the strategy in agriculture is estimated at around US$1 billion, with 40 per cent
channelled through the Ministry of Agriculture. It is envisaged that the private sector’s role in financing it will rise from 20
per cent to over 40 per cent by 2030.
Implementing the CRGE strategy confronts Ethiopia with challenges at many levels. Institutional constraints figure
prominently, although innovation is already taking place at the sector level. The Ministry of Agriculture, for example,
has established a CRGE unit under the Natural Resource Sector, headed by a state minister. In the Ministry of Water,
Irrigation and Energy, a new emphasis on irrigation reflects a shift away from rain-fed agriculture as an explicit
adaptation strategy. Finance for climate-change adaptation remains a major challenge, yet the government is already
committing significant funds in key sectors.229
INTERNATIONAL ACTION
Priorities for Paris
Since the near collapse of the 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate, governments
have tended to treat the avoidance of a breakdown in the global talks as an indicator
of success. The world cannot afford to continue this pattern of climate diplomacy. The
window of opportunity to limit global warming to 2˚C is closing.
For Sub-Saharan Africa, the Paris summit in late 2015 represents a fork in the road.
Failure to agree on an ambitious and practical agenda for action will greatly increase
the likelihood of reversals in human development. The consequences will be measured
in lost opportunities for Africa and the rest of the world to sustain growth and reduce
poverty.
The Paris summit also provides governments in Africa with an opportunity to demonstrate
climate leadership. There are two strands to that opportunity. The first relates to the
overall level of ambition and commitment. In 2010, governments adopted the principle
of “equitable access to sustainable development” as a guiding theme for the UNFCCC
agreement. African governments have played an important role in articulating how that
principle can advance the cause of climate justice, steering negotiations away from the
sterile deadlock over “common but differentiated responsibilities”. The bottom line for the
region is that (i) the Paris summit must result in the commitments needed to stay within the
2˚C threshold; and (ii) developing countries must secure the support they need to embark
on a low-carbon transition.
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
The second thread relates to Africa’s own development. Governments across the region
increasingly recognize that the trade-off between growth and climate action is illusory.
The climate-strategy document published by the government of Kenya reads: “the
conundrum of choosing between action on climate change and action on development
is a false one: the two are interlinked and will become increasingly so over the coming
decades. Building climate resilience, or increasing the ability to adapt to climate
change, in as low-carbon a way as possible will help Kenya achieve sustainable
development.” 230
The conundrum of choosing
between action on climate change
and action on development
is a false one: the two are
interlinked and will become so
over the coming decades.
Climate-resilient development is a vital part of any strategy for inclusive growth. Increased
agricultural productivity allied to reforestation, conservation and restoration of degraded
land can accelerate the reduction of rural poverty. Improving crop and livestock
production practices would increase food yields, boosting food security and farmers’
incomes. Expanding renewable energy could reduce pressure on forests, cut energy
costs for the poorest households and increase the power generation needed to underpin
economic growth. In each of these areas, African governments could generate benefits
for their own citizens while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This is where international cooperation and climate finance have a vital role to play. The
choices open to African governments are constrained by financing gaps. More effective
cooperation would enable Africa to seize the opportunities offered by renewable energy,
conservation and agricultural productivity, benefiting the region and the world.
The road to Paris – there has been a shift in approach to the
negotiations
The Paris summit in December 2015 will negotiate a successor to the 1997 Kyoto
Protocol, which is the legally binding international treaty linked to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Negotiations are taking
place through a process known as the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. The new
agreement will be implemented from 2020 in the form of a protocol, another legal
instrument or “an agreed outcome with legal force”. It will be applicable to all parties.
The strength of the Kyoto Protocol was arguably also its weakness: it set internationally
binding targets for reducing emissions between 2013 and 2020, but these targets have
applied only to rich countries. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibility”
was applied to exclude developing country commitments, effectively putting fast-growing
emerging economies and middle-income countries on a par with the world’s poorest
countries in Africa. Moreover, the sanctions available for enforcement were not applied
and countries faced with the prospect of such sanctions could simply withdraw from the
Protocol.231
The road to Paris has seen the emergence of a new approach to climate negotiations.
In 2011 the Durban Platform marked a new phase in climate diplomacy as it
recognized that the 20-year North-South standoff was a barrier to effective action.
Wider resentments over aid, trade and development financing were being played out
in climate talks, delaying progress in an area where delay intensifies the problem. The
long-overdue recognition that countries such as China and Ethiopia cannot be treated
with equivalence has opened the door to more constructive dialogue.
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Under the Kyoto Protocol, governments signed up for emission reductions under a legally
binding treaty. The UNFCCC negotiations for Paris have been organized differently.
Each country will determine its contribution to global climate mitigation by preparing and
presenting Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) documents, which are
scheduled to be submitted before the negotiations.
The new approach could help or hinder efforts to tackle climate change. Countries
may be more likely to table ambitious commitments if they are not legally binding. But
building a new international climate agreement on bottom-up commitments could foster a
stronger focus on national policies, laws and monitoring arrangements.
On the other hand, there is a danger that countries will volunteer actions that fall far
short of the levels required to meet the targets for an average global temperature
increase of between 1.5˚C and 2˚C.232 Another risk is that governments will adopt a
high level of ambition in the INDCs tabled at Paris, safe in the knowledge that there are
no mechanisms for holding them or their successors to account for delivery. This is why
any agreement built on a bottom-up approach has to incorporate strong national and
international commitments to monitoring, reporting and verification, backed by welldefined rules and a transparent institutional structure.
In the last analysis, the outcomes will be determined less by legal form than by
political leadership. Success at Paris will hinge on combining bottom-up with top-down
approaches. In their submissions, countries will propose national targets and the steps
they will take to reduce emissions. Subjecting countries’ submissions to a top-down
review is vital to ensure that the package adds up to sufficient cuts in greenhouse gas
emissions.
Governments in Africa have mixed views on the INDC approach. Given the limited
volume of greenhouse gas emissions from the region, the content of submissions from
Africa – with the partial exception of South Africa – are unlikely to figure prominently
in the negotiating process. Yet the INDCs could, and should, be used for a positive
purpose. They provide a vehicle for African governments to describe the actions that
are already under way to develop renewable energy and tackle land-use degradation.
More important, African governments could use the INDCs to outline ambitious strategies
for scaling up current efforts through international cooperation backed by finance.
Current pledges of action fall far short of what is required
Climate-change negotiations are unique in one key respect. In other areas of
international negotiations, such as on trade, finance, debt relief or arms control,
governments negotiate with each other to secure deals reflecting their perception of
national interest. Their negotiating partners are other governments doing the same. In the
case of global warming, the negotiating partner is Planet Earth’s ecological capacity for
absorbing greenhouse gas emissions. Planetary boundaries do not negotiate.
There is some evidence of a new momentum in climate negotiations. Between them,
the United States, China and the European Union account for 42 per cent of global
greenhouse gas emissions. All three announced new commitments during 2014.
In November 2014, China and the United States announced a US-China Joint
Announcement on Climate Change on emission reductions. Under the agreement,
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
China stated an intention to a peak in emissions by 2030, together with increasing the
share of renewable energy to 20 per cent of the country’s energy mix.
The United States announced that they intended to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent
below 2005 levels by 2025. The European Union has also adopted more ambitious
targets. These include a 40 per cent reduction in domestic emissions by 2030 (against
a 1990 benchmark). The 2014 commitments build on an earlier pledge to cut emissions
by 20 per cent by 2020, and by 30 per cent conditional on wider international action.
National policies in many countries are moving in a more positive direction. President
Barack Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan has strengthened the regulatory environment
for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while the 2014 Clean Power Plan aims at a 30
per cent reduction in emissions from the power sector.233 China’s 2014 National Action
Plan on Climate Change includes a cap on coal-fired power generation by 2020,
targets for enhanced energy efficiency, more stringent controls on air pollution, and
strong commitments on renewable energy. In 2013, China overtook the United States as
the world’s largest investor in renewable energy. India, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of
greenhouse gases, has tabled modest pledges, centred on a reduction in the emissions
intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent in 2020. However, the new Indian government is
accelerating and deepening implementation of major reforms, including the ambitious
National Solar Mission. Brazil is aggressively promoting a climate strategy aimed at
reducing emissions, with a strong focus on land use and forest conservation.
The commitments made in 2014 also illustrate that “the devil is in the detail” in climate
proposals. China has adopted a 2030 emissions peak, but no quantitative target has
been set for the peak. The United States has yet to elaborate on which policies will
underpin the higher level of ambition in its 2025 target. Meanwhile, the framing of
the EU policy has raised questions over what is included, the links to energy-efficiency
targets and the alignment of the goals with reform of the EU emissions trading scheme.234
Independent analysis suggests that current policies will also leave the European Union
some way short of the target of a 40 per cent reduction in emissions by 2040. The most
detailed estimates available put emission reductions at 23-35 per cent by 2030.235
What ultimately counts is not whether countries achieve their own targets, but whether
their commitments and actions will leave the world within the threshold of an average
2˚C temperature increase. Research by scientists at Climate Action Tracker (CAT),
an independent assessment group, shows that the world is heading for temperature
increases well in excess of 2˚C, based on current commitments and policies being
implemented (Figure 35). If all governments were to act on their commitments, projected
warming over the course of the 21st century would be in the range of 2.9-3.1˚C, which
is still well above the threshold levels set for the Paris climate negotiations. The word “if”
is operative. If governments fail to meet their commitments, the world is heading towards
4˚C warming. The CAT analysis is consistent with other scenarios. The IPCC projects that
by 2100 global average temperature levels will be 3.7˚ to 4.8˚C above pre-industrial
levels. The IEA’s baseline scenario anticipates temperature increases of 4-6˚C by the end
of the 21st century.236 These figures point to large emission gaps. The world is moving far
too slowly towards a zero-emissions future.
129
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
FIGURE 35 WITH CURRENT POLICIES THE WORLD IS HEADING FOR 4ºC WARMING OVER THE 21ST
CENTURY
200
Warming
projected
by 2100
Baselines
4.1-4.8°C
Global greenhouse gas emissions (GtCO2eq.)
150
Current
policy
projections
3.6-4.2°C
100
Pledges
2.9-3.1°C
50
Below 2°C
1.5-1.7°C
0
Below 1.5°C
by 2100
1.3-1.5°C
-50
1990
2000
2010
2020
2030
2040
2050
2060
2070
2080
2090
2100
Historical emissions, excl. forestry
Reference median and range*
Current Policy Projections (CAT Assessment)
Pledge pathway (CAT assesssment)
2°C Consistent Pathway, median and range**
1.5°C Consistent Pathway, median and range***
Notes:
* 5-95th percentile of AR5 WGII scenarios in concentration category 7, containing 64% of the baseline scenarios assessed by the IPCC
** Greater than 66% chance of staying within 2C in 2100. Median and 10th to 90th percentile range. Pathway range excludes delayed action scenarios and any
that deviate more than 5% from historic emissions in 2010.
*** Greater than or equal to 50% change of staying below 1.5C in 2100. Median and 10th to 90th percentile range. Pathwa range exlucludes any delayed action
scenarios and any that deviate more than 5% from historic emissions in 2010.
Data source: Climate Action Tracker. (2014). Effect of current pledges and policies on global temperature.
130
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
There is good news and bad news in the run-up to the Paris summit
The Paris summit agreement has to be based on scientific evidence, but the outcome will be
dictated by politics and by political leadership. There are encouraging signs of a renewed
momentum but concerns continue over the gap between problem recognition and action.
On the good news front, climate diplomacy has moved into a higher gear. The commitments
from the US, China and the EU do not go far enough, but they signal an end to the
damaging US-China standoff and a stronger commitment. The UN secretary-general has put
climate change at the top of his agenda and the Conference of the Parties (CoP) gathering of
climate-change decision-makers held in Lima, Peru, in December 2014 produced a call for
climate action, including elements for a draft negotiating text in Paris. However vague and
riddled with competing options the text may be, worse outcomes were possible.
Beyond the inter-governmental process, there is evidence of a new momentum in other areas.
Cities have emerged as a powerful force for climate action. Around 228 cities have set
greenhouse gas reduction targets amounting to 30 GtCO2e by 2050, which is equivalent to
the combined annual emissions of China and India.237 The C40 Cities Climate Leadership
Group initiative, launched in 2005, has provided a focal point for cooperation. Three of
Africa’s mega-cities – Lagos, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa – are actively engaged, and
Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Cape Town have observer status.
The Paris summit agreement
has to be based on scientific
evidence, but the outcome
will be dictated by politics
and by political leadership.
Evidence from the field of
economics demonstrates that
combating climate change
is not just affordable but
could also benefit growth.
The business community is also more actively engaged. Companies around the world
are setting their goals and targets. Major multinational companies have called on
governments to set carbon prices in order to promote investments in green energy. An
emerging coalition of companies, pension funds and municipalities is actively promoting
disinvestment from coal and other fossil fuels.
Evidence from the field of economics demonstrates that combating climate change is not just
affordable but could also benefit growth. The Global Commission on Economy and Climate
has presented a compelling case for low-carbon investment. The Commission projects that
US$90 trillion will be spent on infrastructure over the next 15 years. Shifting to a low-carbon
trajectory would require a 5 per cent increase in that investment, most of which would be
off-set by efficiency gains, lower pollution costs and the benefits of a move towards betterplanned, more compact cities.238 The findings are consistent with other evidence.
Another positive development has been the growth of carbon markets. Some 39 national
and 23 sub-national jurisdictions are implementing or putting in place carbon-pricing
instruments, including emissions-trading schemes and taxes.239 This is adding to the
momentum for a bottom-up approach to climate action. The jurisdictions in question
account for almost one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Set against the encouraging news there is no shortage of less positive news. Outright
climate change scepticism is on the retreat. Yet the world still lacks the critical mass of
political leadership needed for a breakthrough. Moreover, there is a large gap between
the policy statements and actions of many governments and businesses.
Several developed countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia appear
to have withdrawn from the community of nations seeking to tackle dangerous climate
change (Box 16). Viewed from Africa, this calls into question their commitment to national
and international efforts to reduce poverty and the wider sustainable development agenda
enshrined in the post-2015 goals. Most Arab states have made limited commitments.
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AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
BOX 16 FREE-RIDING ON CLIMATE ACTION
Climate Action Tracker identifies four countries falling short not only of credible international targets but also of
their own modest national targets:
Canada’s commitment under the UNFCCC is that by 2020 it will reduce emissions by 17 per cent below 2005
emission levels. This weakens a previous target and a pledge under the Copenhagen Accord to reduce emissions
by 20 per cent below 2006 emissions by 2020. Canada will miss its 2020 pledge by a wide margin: current
policy projections point to a 9 per cent increase in emissions to 2020.240
With one of the world’s highest levels of per capita emissions, Australia has gone from leadership to free-rider
status in climate diplomacy. Repeal of the Clean Energy Future Plan effectively abolished carbon pricing. Current
policies will result in emissions increasing by about 12-18 per cent above 2000 emissions.241
In 2010, Japan committed to a 25 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 (using a 1990 base year),
conditional on the establishment of a fair and effective international framework. Japan has revised that pledge
and now aims to reduce emissions by 3.8 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. This is equivalent to equivalent
to an increase of 5.2 per cent above 1990 levels – a marked retreat in ambition.242
In the Copenhagen Accord, the Russian Federation pledged a reduction of 15 to 25 per cent below 1990
emissions by 2020. However, this represents a 14 to 29 per cent increase from the 2010 emissions level, setting
Russia on the wrong trajectory.243
Headline news about climate markets disguises the fact that they are broad in terms of
coverage but shallow in terms of impact. Most initiatives are operating on a modest
scale and at very low-carbon price levels. The European Union’s emissions trading
scheme (ETS) illustrates the policy failure. Prices on the ETS for carbon have hovered
between EUR3 and EUR7 a tonne, which is far too low to encourage power utilities
and energy companies to shift investment out of coal and oil.244 By contrast, the United
Kingdom has set its own floor price of EUR24 a tonne for carbon, pushing prices
close to the EUR30 a tonne price envisaged at the ETS’s inception, which could trigger
switching fuel from coal to natural gas.
Fossil fuel companies and ‘big coal’ have too much sway over
policy
The imperative to decarbonize energy systems raises wider political challenges.
Energy companies based on fossil fuels represent a concentration of economic and
financial power that no government can afford to ignore. They have deep political
networks and, all too often, they use their political heft to skew public policies in a
direction that is damaging for climate change.
Most major energy companies have joined initiatives calling for action on climate,
often including carbon pricing.245 Several have already integrated carbon pricing
into their business strategies.246 Yet many of the same companies are expanding
investments in high-carbon fuels that are harmful for climate change, including tar
sands, tar shale, shale gas extracted by fracking and methane hydrates.247
132
Energy companies based on fossil
fuels represent a concentration
of economic and financial power
that no government can afford to
ignore.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
BP’s 2013 sustainability report expresses concern over climate change, while listing
an extensive portfolio in deep-water oil and gas, tar sands and fracking. Shell actively
argues against applying a 2˚C climate budget to emissions up to 2050, arguing
speculatively that carbon capture and storage technologies may save the day.248
All companies, including renewable energy companies, seek to influence political
decisions. What is distinctive about the fossil-fuel industry is the money they can bring
to bear on political influence. One detailed analysis of spending by oil, gas and
electricity utility companies in the run-up to the 2014 mid-term election in the United
States puts lobbying-related expenditure at US$721million.249
Energy-related fossil-fuel
subsidies are five times higher
than the subsidies for renewable
energy.
Coal-industry interests have become increasingly prominent, yet coal generates twice
as much CO2 as natural gas. The World Coal Association, which represents coal
companies such as Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton, produced documents
purporting to demonstrate that coal has a role to play in a low-carbon future.250 The chief
executive of BHP Billiton has described calls for a switch from coal to gas as “a very
western, rich country solution”.251 This is a theme that echoes a long-standing campaign
by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company.252 Peabody
claims coal is “essential to meet the scale of Africa’s desperate need for electricity” and
that eliminating energy poverty is one of its core business objectives.253 Other coal
companies are campaigning vigorously against climate action in Australia, the European
Union and the United States.254
Continued dependence on coal in power generation is holding back efforts to
decarbonize growth. Recent projections from the IEA point to continued growth in
demand for coal of around 2.1 per cent a year to 2019.255 Going to “zero coal” is a
global priority. As we argue in Part I, coal will remain an important but shrinking part
of Africa’s energy mix to 2040 and beyond. However, the argument that coal holds
the key to eliminating Africa’s energy poverty combines implausible economics with
unsubstantiated evidence.
Unburnable carbon and fossil fuel subsidies
No issue serves to illustrate the tension between climate commitments and energy policy
better than subsidies for fossil fuels. Effective action against climate change demands
that governments push carbon out of markets through taxation, quotas and regulatory
measures. Instead, they are subsidizing the discovery and use of carbon-intensive fuels.
The IMF estimates the overall level of fossil-fuel subsidies at US$2 trillion annually, or
1.2 per cent of global GDP.256 According to the IEA, energy-related fossil-fuel subsidies
are five times higher than the subsidies for renewable energy.257
The most perverse and damaging subsidies are associated with exploration for fossil
fuels. If global warming is to be kept below 2˚C, one-third of known oil reserves, half
of gas reserves and some 80 per cent of coal reserves must be left in the ground.258
This is the world’s existing reserve of “unburnable carbon”. Yet many governments
and companies are investing heavily in the discovery and exploitation of new carbon
reserves, including the Arctic and deep sea areas (See infographic: Cut the waste).
133
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
CUT THE WASTE
AFRICAN
US$10 billion
on kerosene and other
oil based products
spend
US$21 billion
on
per year
US$11 billion
GOVERNMENTS
to cover utility losses
ENERGY SUBSIDIES
REDIRECT SUBSIDIES
into energy investment, social protection and targeted connectivity for the poor
FOSSIL FUEL
G20
Instead of
provided
US$88 billion
in 2013
GOVERNMENTS
TAXING EMISSIONS
G20 countries
for
ARE EFFECTIVELY
SUBSIDIZING THEM
EXPLORATION/PRODUCTION
PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES FAST
The scale of exploration subsidies is insufficiently recognized – not least by the taxpayers who are footing the bill. The Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change
International found that G20 countries provided support for exploration totalling
US$88 billion in 2013.259 These transfers included:
• The United States was spending US$5.1 billion, almost double the level in 2009;
• Russia was spending US$2.4 billion, much of it on exploration in the Arctic and
permafrost locations;
• Australia was directing US$3.5 billion to developing new coal and other fossilfuel reserves;
• The United Kingdom was spending US$1.2 billion, principally for exploration in
the North Sea and fracking;
• Investment by state-owned oil, gas and coal companies was between US$2
billion and US$5 billion in Russia, Mexico and India; US$9 billion in China;
US$11 billion in Brazil; and US$17 billion in Saudi Arabia.
The logic behind these subsidies is difficult to unravel. Either the new reserves discovered
with the support of state subsidies will be left in the ground, which would constitute
a waste of public finance during a period of acute fiscal stress; or the reserves will
be used, in which case dangerous climate change is guaranteed. Despite repeated
commitments since 2009 to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, the G20 governments
have failed to act.
134
Despite repeated commitments
since 2009 to phase out
subsidies for fossil fuels, the G20
governments have failed to act.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Investment in fossil fuels poses systemic financial risks in addition to considerations of
climate change. Falling oil prices have exacerbated those risks. At prevailing price
levels investment in exploration and extraction is uneconomic, especially for hard-toreach oil and gas. Prospects for the coal sector are arguably even bleaker. Between
2011 and 2014 Bloomberg’s Global Coal Index company valuation tracker declined
by 56 per cent.260 Since then prices have fallen again, leading to a sharp decline
in both profits and planned capital investments by the world’s largest coal mining
company, BHP Billiton. China’s decision to put a cap on coal use for power generation
by 2020 could lead to a sharp reduction in demand for exports and further price
declines.
There is a widespread view that
Africa’s primary stake in the
climate negotiations is to secure
more aid for adaptation. That view
is deeply flawed.
Action on climate change would inevitably exacerbate market pressures on fossil fuel
investments. If the world is to achieve the under 2˚C target, much of the investment
now wrapped up in coal, oil and tar-sands will represent “stranded assets”. Given the
role of energy companies in the portfolios of fund managers, these assets constitute a
systemic risk for financial systems comparable in scale, if not in origin, to sub-prime
mortgage stock. Estimates for the size of the energy-related stock of stranded assets
range from US$300 billion to US$600 billion.261
SECURING A BETTER DEAL FOR AFRICA
What would a good deal for Africa look like at the Paris climate summit? International action
to get on a trajectory to zero emissions consistent with the 2˚C threshold is an imperative.
The Paris summit also presents Africa and the world with an opportunity to build a bridge
from climate action to sustainable development. The world stands to gain from Africa
accelerating progress towards a low-carbon transition and different approaches to land-use,
and Africa needs international support to scale up current initiatives.
Using the INDC process to set an African agenda
There is a widespread view that Africa’s primary stake in the climate negotiations is to
secure more aid for adaptation. That view is deeply flawed. Several countries in Africa
are embarking on ambitious programmes aimed at integrating climate action with
sustainable development. Part of the motivation can be traced to national self-interest.
Governments increasingly recognize the costs associated with high-carbon development
pathways and the potential benefits of renewable energy, sustainable land-use and lowcarbon development. At the same time many governments acknowledge that, despite the
responsibility of rich countries for causing the climate crisis, avoiding dangerous climate
change requires action by the entire international community.
Some of the poorest countries in the region are demonstrating a high level of global
leadership on climate. Ethiopia has identified a range of initiatives aimed at limiting
emissions to current levels and reducing per capita emissions. These initiatives have
been carefully costed and the country has the institutional capacity for implementation.
Ethiopia is one among many examples. Countries such as Kenya and Rwanda
have developed climate-resilient growth strategies. In Kenya, the livestock sector
accounts for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, but the largest absolute growth
is projected in transport, where emissions are expected to grow from 10 MtCO2e in
135
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
2010 to 33 MtCO2e in 2030. The country’s strategy sets out actions to respond to
these emissions, including reforestation, land conservation and a mass-transit system
for Greater Nairobi. Development of Kenya’s geothermal energy potential could
save 14 MtCO2e of emissions a year by 2030. Other low-carbon options include
expanding electricity generation based on wind and hydropower, which could save
2.5 MtCO2e by 2030.262
Rwanda has one of the world’s most ambitious renewable-energy strategies. It aims at
50 per cent of power generation coming from renewable energy by 2017, starting
from a base of just 4 per cent in 2008. The overall costs are put at US$500 million,
of which public spending accounts for US$200 million.263 Achieving those ambitious
goals will involve serious challenges spanning all aspects of energy planning,
management and operation.
What is striking about such plans is that they reflect a new approach to thinking about
climate risk and resilience, as outlined in Part I. The debate in Africa has moved
on. Ten years ago most governments saw an outright contradiction between climate
action and strategies for growth. Indeed, climate mitigation was largely viewed as an
imposition by northern governments. Today, governments increasingly see low-carbon
development as a growth opportunity.
The major constraint on that opportunity is financing. The economics of energy pull
very strongly in favour of emerging renewable technologies. However, the capital
costs of these technologies are often higher than those of low-efficiency power plants,
especially in countries with limited experience of providing renewable energy. In the
agricultural sector, the measures needed to raise productivity and reduce pressure on
environmental resources can be initiated at the community level, but infrastructure,
research and development, and social protection require public investments on a
significant scale.
The INDCs provide African governments with a vehicle to set out their ambition for
the transition to a growth-oriented, climate-resilient, low-carbon development model.
Building on existing strategies for the energy sector and land use, the submissions
could go beyond outlining what countries are doing now to identifying what could be
done through deeper international cooperation on financing, technology and capacity
development.
There is an obvious drawback to investment of diplomatic capital in the INDCs.
Producing credible INDCs is yet another transaction cost to be borne by already overburdened ministries, with no guarantee of a positive response. Indeed, the history of
climate finance is marked by onerous bureaucratic processes and the delivery of small
amounts of money. Africa has not been well served. That is why the INDCs should
include Africa-wide prescriptions for reform of the climate finance architecture.
Fixing the financial architecture
Climate finance is one of the critical links between the climate-change agenda and
wider action on sustainable development. Meeting low-income countries’ requirements
for economic growth, poverty reduction and infrastructure development will require
broader approaches to financing. That is why the Addis Ababa summit on financing for
136
Today, governments increasingly
see low-carbon development as a
growth opportunity.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
development in July 2015 is a crucial part of the preparations for the Paris climate summit.
Financing for adaption and a low-carbon transition in Africa has to come from a wide
variety of sources. Domestic financing is critical. But the energy sector financing gap
identified in Part I – about US$55 billion annually to 2030 – points to the need for
increased private investment, alongside expanded provision of concessional and nonconcessional development finance.
Official development assistance (ODA) has an important role to play in financing
adaptation and in leveraging private finance. However, the limitations of aid have to be
recognized. One estimate is that financing of about US$93 billion a year is needed to
meet Africa’s infrastructure needs.264 This is twice the level of total aid for Sub-Saharan
Africa reported in 2013. Aid flows have stagnated since 2011 and total aid for
infrastructure amounts to US$18 billion.
Even under the most benign scenario, the overall magnitude of ODA is likely to
remain modest in relation to financing needs. This does not imply that its importance
should be understated. If rich countries lived up to their long-standing commitment
to mobilize 0.7 per cent of the gross national incomes (GNI) as aid, they would
generate an additional US$178 billion. Donors should be aware that Africa will view
commitments in Addis Ababa as a barometer for how rich countries are approaching
the climate negotiations. More immediately, the financing for development summit
provides an opportunity to support concrete initiatives linked to sustainable energy for
all, adaptation to the likely effects of climate change and the actions proposed in the
INDCs.
“Most African countries are
improving. They have climate
change committees, climate
policies and national climate
funds. The awareness is there
and the political will is a reality.
Most of the times, the means
of implementation from the
international community is still
lagging in access, adequacy
and scale of finance”
Seyni Nafo,
Spokesperson, Africa Group of Negotiators
under the UNFCCC 2014-2015.
Climate finance is important both in terms of its volume and symbolic value. Successive
Conference of Parties gatherings, the key decision-making body of the UNFCCC,
have almost been derailed as developing countries perceived that rich countries were
reluctant to act on their commitments. Under the Copenhagen Accord, developed
countries pledged to mobilize US$100 billion per year from public and private
sources by 2020 and to provide US$30 billion between 2010 and 2012 in “fast
start” finance. This commitment recognized that developing countries view financing as
an integral element in any climate agreement.
An elaborate climate financing architecture has emerged. On one estimate, there are
now 50 climate funds in operation with a total financing pool of around US$25 billion.
These resources include both concessional and non-concessional finance.
One recent review evaluated nine separate multilateral climate-finance mechanisms,
with cumulative funding approved of just under US$10 billion since 2002.265 These
mechanisms have delivered some positive results. Climate finance has supported
innovative mitigation projects in major emitting countries such as Mexico, China and
India, along with valuable adaptation projects. The most comprehensive independent
valuation has documented governance improvements in a number of areas, including
transparency and the pace of disbursement.266
On the other hand, Sub-Saharan Africa has been poorly served by climate finance.
Modest funding has been transferred through fragmented, overly bureaucratic delivery
structures that combine high transaction costs with low impact. The overwhelming
bulk of finance has been earmarked for small-scale projects rather than national
programmes.
137
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
Bilateral aid dominates climate finance for Africa. Over the three financial years
2010–2012, US$3.7 billion was provided in “fast start” finance.
Not all of this represents new and additional aid and some may have been diverted
from other projects. Transfers have averaged US$1.23 billion a year, with mitigation
finance dominating. Bilateral aid has been heavily concentrated in a small number of
countries, with projects in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania accounting for 70
per cent of mitigation finance (Figure 36).
Support through the multilateral aid pipeline has been even more limited. In contrast to
bilateral aid, adaptation accounts for the bigger slice of the multilateral aid pie – but the
pie itself is of modest proportions. In total, US$2.1 billion has been committed since 2002.
Over the period 2010 to 2015, average annual commitments amounted to US$378
million. Part of the problem is that adaptation is the least-resourced part of climate finance
and accounts for just a quarter of pledges to the multilateral funds. Just over one-third of the
adaptation financing provided through multilateral funds goes to Sub-Saharan Africa.267
Multilateral adaptation financing illustrates just how fragmented the aid delivery system has
become. The Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience, the largest of the adaptation funds,
has financed 44 projects with a resource envelope of US$777 million, which means
an average project size of US$14 million. The Adaptation Fund has 35 projects with an
average size of US$6 million.268 The Least Developed Countries Fund’s adaptation portfolio
comprises 199 projects with an average project value of US$3 million.
The fragmentation is reflected in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, US$291 million was
approved for projects in the region through eight separate adaptation funds.
FIGURE 36 PATTERNS OF BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL AID VARY
25+57+594 51+34+132
BILATERAL FAST START FINANCE
(US$ MILLION AND SHARES, 2010-2012)
342.3
9%
Adaptation
146.9
4%
280.1
13%
Mitigation
950.8
25%
190.3
5%
MULTILATERAL CLIMATE FINANCE
(US$ MILLION, 2002-2015)
45.5
2%
Mitigation - general
Multiple
Mitigation - REDD
REDD+
Multiple foci
Unknown
1109.6
51%
729.6
34%
2117.4
57%
Data sources: Overseas Development Institute. (2013). Mobilising international climate finance: Lessons from the fast-start finance period.
Climate Funds Update website with data as of February 2015.
138
Adaptation
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Most of the multilateral mechanisms are delivering limited funding. Average annual
commitments for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2010-2013 were just
US$80 million for the Least Developed Countries Fund and US$66 million for the Pilot
Programme for Climate Resilience, shrinking to just US$15 million for the Adaptation Fund.
It is difficult to imagine a less efficient delivery system. Each fund has a separate
set of institutions, rules and reporting requirements. The emphasis on projects diverts
the resources of recipient governments away from the systemic responses needed
to underpin more transformative approaches to adaptation. Government officials
interviewed by the Africa Progress Panel indicated that the transaction costs were high
enough to deter financing requests.
The multilateral funds do finance some important and innovative work. Niger has
secured significant benefits. It is using some US$110 million in resources to develop
climate-resilient land- and water-management systems, and to integrate adaptation into
planning by national and local governments. However, this is an exception in what is
overall an inefficient system for financing adaptation.
Estimating the required financing for adaptation is intrinsically difficult. The UNEP is the
most comprehensive and authoritative source for adaptation financing estimates and
it puts annual average costs of adapting to unavoidable climate change at US$7-15
billion (at 2010 prices) by 2020, rising to US$15-18 billion in the following decade if
the world follows a trajectory that leads to 3.5˚C-4˚C average global warming. Taking
the mid-range figure, around US$11 billion is required by 2020 but so far development
finance for adaptation in Africa from both bilateral and multilateral sources has amounted
to US$516 million on average each year (Figure 37).
FIGURE 37 AID FOR ADAPTATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (MILLION US$)
AFRICA HAS A LARGE AID-FOR-ADAPTATION FINANCING GAP...
... AND MULTILATERAL ADAPTATION FINANCING IS HIGHLY FRAGMENTED
16000
14000
Million US$
12000
11 billion
10000
8000
6000
4000
516
million
2000
0
Estimated annual
adaptation financing
requirements
(to 2020)
Average annual
aid for adaptation
(2010-2014)
317 million
bilateral
199 million
multilateral
Average annual total 2012-2014 (US$ millions)
90
80
80
66
70
60
50
40
15
20
10
0
28
27
30
5
Special
Adaptation
Climate
Fund
Change Fund
(AF)
(SCCF)
2010-2013
2010-2013
Global
Climate
Change
Alliance
(GCCA)
2010-2014
Adaptation
Pilot
Least
for
Programme Developed
Smallholder for Climate Country Fund
Agriculture
and
(LDCF)
Programme Resilience 2010-2014
(ASAP)
(PPCR)
2012-2014 2010-2013
Data sources: Overseas Development Institute. (2013). Mobilising international climate finance: Lessons from the fast-start finance period.
Climate Funds Update website with data as of February 2015.
139
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
At a time when rich countries are spending several billions of dollars on flood defences
and other climate-related adaptation measures, the imbalance raises fundamental
questions about their commitment to climate justice. Indeed, it lends weight to Archbishop
Desmond Tutu’s memorable depiction of the imbalances as a source of “adaptation
apartheid”.269
When it comes to mitigation, Sub-Saharan Africa is picking up the small change of
international climate finance. South Africa and Nigeria are the only countries to have
received support from the Clean Technology Fund. A larger group of low-income
Sub-Saharan Africa countries have received pledges of support from the Scaling Up
Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP) for the development of
solar, wind and geothermal power. However, as of February 2015, only Kenya,
Ethiopia and Mali had received financial support through concessional loans of
US$40-50 million.
At a time when rich countries
are spending billions of dollars
on flood defences and other
climate-related adaptation
measures, the imbalance raises
fundamental questions about their
commitment to climate justice.
International support for mitigation through agriculture, forestry and land-use changes
has been limited. This is unfortunate because it is precisely this area in which SubSaharan Africa can make the greatest contribution to global emission-reduction goals.
Recognising the vital role played by forests as carbon sinks, governments in the
UNFCCC created the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation
(REDD+) mechanism. REDD+ seeks to recognize the monetary value of the carbon stored
in forests, creating incentives for conservation to offset the losses from activities such as
commercial logging, ranching and the conversion of forests into arable land. Financial
pledges over the period 2006-2014 reached US$8.7 billion, with around 16 per
cent or US$1.3 billion earmarked for Sub-Saharan Africa.270 Other facilities have also
emerged, some with a distinctive focus on Africa. For example, the Congo Basin Forest
Fund has received pledges of around US$180 million to support forest conservation.271
In the event, financial transfers through REDD+ to Sub-Saharan Africa have been
limited (Figure 38). Average annual commitments between 2010 and 2014
amounted to just US$167 million, allocated principally to Democratic Republic of
Congo, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Approved pledges are typically very small – only
the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania had total pledges in excess of
US$100 million between 2006 and 2014. For many countries, there are large gaps
between commitments and disbursements.
Part of the problem can be traced to the REDD+ architecture. In theory, REDD+ transfers
are based on performance requirements linked to forest conservation and emission
levels. Few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have either the measurement, reporting and
verification systems needed to meet the standards for reporting performance by results or
the technical capacity to develop these systems.
Many governments also struggle to meet wider eligibility REDD+ criteria. One
requirement is that legislation recognizes communal and private property rights over
land. That legislation is missing in many countries. REDD+ also requires governments to
set out benefit-sharing arrangements and participatory processes for agreeing on them,
as well as safeguards to address social and environmental concerns.
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When it comes to mitigation,
Sub-Saharan Africa is picking
up the small change of
international climate finance.
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
Few governments in Africa are able to meet the requirements. One of the recurrent
themes in REDD+ reviews is the low level of inclusion and participation in forestry
management on the part of communities affected. Even where the right legislation is in
place, many governments are unable or unwilling to enforce the provisions relevant to
REDD+ eligibility. For example, charcoal production is dominated in most countries by
small-scale informal enterprises operating beyond the reach of government agencies.
Zambia’s export bans on timber and charcoal are ineffective in practice. Efforts to
regulate commercial logging through quotas are weakened in many countries through
the corrupt sale of illegal concessions or the non-enforcement of laws.
There is a wider problem in the REDD+ approach to mitigation. In effect, the system is
designed to purchase cost-effective reductions in emissions through the sequestration of
carbon. Measured on a per hectare basis, sustainable land-use practices in arid and
semi-arid areas and on Africa’s savannah have a more limited sequestration capacity
than tropical forests. However, unlocking the triple-wins outlined in this section for climate
change, poverty and agricultural productivity requires investment in precisely these areas.
FIGURE 38 REDD+ SPENDING: HIGHLY CONCENTRATED AND A GAP BETWEEN APPROVALS AND
DISBURSEMENTS
73.5
80
266.10 Million US$ Approved
70
44.4
60
30.3
50
40
4.3
4.5
5.2
6.8
10
7.0
8.6
20
7.6
30
Approved
Central African Republic
Zambia
Rwanda
Gabon
Côte d’Ivoire
Republic of Congo
Cameroon
Burkina Faso
Ghana
DR Congo
0
85.83 Million US$
Disbursed
Disbursed
Data source: Overseas Development Institute and Africa Progress Panel research (2015).
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03
−
THE ROAD AHEAD AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
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In energy policy and in climate policy, there are tough choices to be made.
Responsibility for those choices starts and ends with governments in Africa. Ultimately,
the region’s leaders are accountable to their citizens for the decisions they take. Yet what
is possible in Africa will also be determined in part by international action – or inaction.
Unless the international community strengthens cooperation on energy, many countries
will be unable to escape the gravitational pull of the “business-as-usual” pathway. In each
policy area we cover here, we identify both national and international priorities.
The need to balance ambitious climate action with the principle of “common but
differentiated responsibility” has been central to negotiations from the inception of the
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This section of the report
sets out practical ideas and benchmarks for applying to the Paris climate summit the
principles of equitable access to sustainable development.
AFRICAN LEADERS
Demonstrate greater leadership and ambition in energy and
climate
1. Ensure universal access to energy by 2030
Governments must set out strategies for achieving universal access to energy, aiming
at a 10-fold increase in power generation by 2040, while laying the foundations
for a low-carbon transition. New technologies, policy reform and innovative business
models offer promising pathways: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa are
already setting examples. These strategies should be aligned with the framework of the
UN secretary-general’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. African leaders
must attach far greater weight to equity. The international community has to translate
bold policy statements into concrete plans for action. Among the priorities:
Put access to electricity for people who are not connected at the heart of national
strategies: Africa’s energy strategies must measure progress not just in terms of power
generation but also, crucially, in terms of connectivity. Three steps are required. First,
every energy strategy should map where there are concentrations of people who do
not have access to modern energy. Second, the strategies should assess the technical
feasibility and costs of reaching those unconnected people through grid, mini-grid or
stand-alone technologies. Third, strategies should include a plan to deliver at least
entry-level supplies of electricity to all by 2030.
Support renewable providers: Governments currently buy electricity from independent
power providers in order to feed the power into national grids, effectively acting as a
purchasing agent for (mostly wealthy) people and companies with grid connections.
The poor have no such agent. Governments could effectively purchase power from
providers of off-grid renewable energy. The providers could be licensed to serve a
specified number of households, with payments subject to delivery after competitive
tendering. Demand for low-cost solar and mini-grid systems is highly sensitive to price, so
governments could reduce the cost of renewable technologies by lowering import duties
and offering carefully targeted tax concessions.
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Promote clean cooking facilities: Every government should develop integrated strategies
for tackling unsafe cooking practices. The starting point is to recognize the value of biomass
energy and end the underpricing of charcoal and fuel-wood. As in the case of renewableenergy technologies, governments should support consumer demand for clean cooking
stoves by exempting imported components from taxes and duties, and by subsidizing
research and development, manufacture and distribution. Specific government agencies
should be given responsibility for supporting producers of clean cooking-stoves through
revolving equity and credit funds where appropriate.
2. Finance the ambition
Over the next 15 years, Sub-Saharan Africa has to close an energy financing gap of
around US$55 billion. Increased domestic resource mobilization is vital, but Africa
needs to tap into a wider pool of global savings and investment. There is no shortage
of savings in the world: pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional
investors control assets of US$90 trillion. In most cases savers are only getting limited
returns on these investments, when they could secure better returns by investing in filling
financing gaps in energy infrastructure in Africa. The barrier separating savers from this
investment opportunity is risk, real and perceived. Institutional investors such as pension
funds are unlikely to take project-development risks but represent a potential flow of
investment for well-performing assets in a stable policy environment. To attract such
affordable, high-quality investment, governments need to create a viable pipeline of
bankable projects while providing a stable and predictable regulatory environment.
Go the extra mile – national financing: The total cost of achieving universal access
to electricity in Africa is around US$20 billion. Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa
should finance half of this initial cost because they will recoup most of this spending
over time through electricity charges. Financing priorities include lowering the cost
of initial connections to the grid, subsidizing connections for rural populations and
urban informal settlements, and supporting off-grid provision. Concessional aid should
be increased by US$2 billion to co-finance initiatives aimed at bringing electricity to
informal urban settlements.
Governments should spend 3-4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on energy-sector
development, with at least 60 per cent of that on investment:
•
Reform and strengthen tax administration to increase tax-to-GDP ratios. Low-income
countries in the region should aim at a tax-to-GDP ratio of at least 20 per cent,
including by ending the under-taxation of land, property, wealth of high-income
people and informal-sector activity. Some countries have used increases in revenues
from natural resources to put on hold long-overdue reforms in these areas or – even
worse – to cut taxes in other areas.272
•
Convert fossil-fuel subsidies into sustainable energy investments: Governments
spend 1.3 per cent of regional GDP on subsidizing utilities and they should draw
up strategies for transferring all of part of this into productive long-term investments in
sustainable energy.
•
Remove tax concessions for multinational investors: Many countries provide foreign
investors with excessively generous tax breaks in the form of tax holidays, capitalgains tax allowances and royalty exemptions.273
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Governments and finance institutions should sustain energy reform and restructure
risk:
•
Provide clear, consistent and transparent regulations: The greatest barrier to
private investment is uncertainty. Governments, utilities and regulators have to
establish well-defined ground rules for power-purchase agreements, investment in
infrastructure and the delineation of responsibility. They also need to build a track
record in adhering to the rules.
•
Allocate risk and returns: Governments need to secure the right investment for the
right purpose. The design stage of a project is the catalyst for it to be launched.
This stage is the most risky but the financing can be structured between public
finance, investment by a multilateral development bank and possibly by an
investment bank or private venture capital. Equity may not be suitable for project
development, but can be useful in construction and initial operations, where
risks are higher that the project may not succeed. Once plants are established
and producing revenues, governments need to fund them through long-term
investments which cost much less than the returns demanded by equity markets.
This operations phase is low-risk but requires large amounts of money and is an
appropriate activity for pension funds in Africa and OECD member countries.
Governments also have to assess the balance of sharing risks and returns, ensuring
that public-private partnerships (PPPs) are not associated with excessive margins
for the private sector and excessive liabilities for public finance.
•
Provide a credible off-taker: Perhaps the single most important concern for private
investors in the electricity sector is security with respect to the buyer or “off-taker”.
In Nigeria, the government established a new entity, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity
Trader, to buy electricity and it provided capitalization and market guarantees.
This model could be more widely applied, especially in countries which do not
have credible utilities.
Mobilize international development finance: International funds providing climate
finance for renewable energy have proliferated. Africa has not yet been well served.
In part this is for an obvious reason: the financing instruments themselves are linked
to performance targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Outside South
Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa has limited emissions to offer for mitigation. Yet there
are grounds for the international community to support a low-carbon development
pathway in Africa. The Climate Investment Funds and the Green Climate Fund (GCF)
should mobilize US$10 billion annually for Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Public-finance
institutions, such as Germany’s KfW, could also play an expanded role.
3. Deepen regional cooperation to create an integrated African grid
The development of regional grids has a vital role to play in expanding the reach
and efficiency of Africa’s electricity distribution. Regional trade in electricity offers
economies of scale and opportunities to link supply to demand. By creating larger
markets, cross-border trade could stimulate investment and reduce the cost of electricity.
Yet despite a steady stream of initiatives and policy pronouncements, regional
cooperation is poor.
Build cross-border grids for renewable energy: Regional and inter-regional powersector integration provides opportunities for exploiting large hydropower, geothermal,
wind, solar and biomass projects, potentially saving billions of dollars in development,
operation and maintenance costs. The Africa Clean Energy Corridor, developed by the
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and several African governments, is a
step in the right direction but limited in scope.274
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Building on current initiatives, political leaders should prioritize the development of
an “Africa grid”: Political leaders should be far more actively engaged in developing
regional markets and in honouring their African Union commitments. Deeper integration
could generate significant benefits. Investing US$17 billion in transmission lines could
save the region US$40 billion in capital spending on generation through efficiency
gains.275 The International Energy Agency estimates that increased regional integration
could reduce average electricity costs by 8 per cent. However, many countries would
see reductions of 20-60 per cent.276 An integrated Africa grid needs to be established
and cross-border trade in energy expanded. The 15 energy-sector projects in the Priority
Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), including the
North-South Power Transmission Corridor, the West African Power Transmission Corridor
and the Inga III Hydro project, must be under way by 2020. Countries in eastern and
southern Africa must prioritize the development of a regional gas grid. The development
of natural gas markets in eastern and southern Africa will require deeper cooperation
and the regional power pools should be deepened. Consideration should be given to a
regional power summit in 2015 attended by political leaders and charged with setting an
agenda for strengthened cooperation.
Prioritise the Grand Inga project: The Grand Inga project in the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) is a potential game-changer. Prospects for its success will be enhanced
through an incremental approach. South Africa needs to provide a commercial market and
DRC has to fix problems with institutional governance. Both South Africa and the wider
international community should use the project as the catalyst for a wider programme aimed
at expanding access to affordable energy in the DRC. Additional hydropower from DRC
would displace coal-fired power generation in South Africa, lowering costs and delivering
significant climate-change benefits.
4. Power up Africa’s agriculture sector
Increasing energy use is essential to transform Africa’s agriculture. At the same time,
governments should take advantage of “triple-win” adaptation opportunities that integrate
social protection with climate-smart strategies. Such approaches would raise agricultural
productivity and develop rural infrastructure, including crop storage, agro-processing
and transport, cutting poverty while strengthening international efforts to combat climate
change. Simple agriculture waste-to-energy opportunities must be exploited. African
governments should modernize National Meteorological and Hydrological Services
(NMHS) and strengthen regional centers to better deliver ground observation data for
agriculture and development planning purposes.
5. Use national climate plans to chart desired energy transition
Submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) documents ahead of Paris
summit: Africa is responsible for a negligible percentage of global emissions and therefore
has concerns over the INDC process. Nonetheless, African negotiators and leaders could
use their INDCs to outline how their growth strategies are related to climate emissions and
energy. African countries can effect a faster and smoother transition from high-carbon to
low-carbon growth than was possible for industrialized nations – but they need support.
The INDCs can provide a platform to make that case, articulate energy-mix scenarios and
adaptation plans, and quantify the cost of each option.
African countries’ INDCs should reflect national strategies for climate-resilient development
and identify policies that should be introduced irrespective of wider international actions.
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The offers should also include a challenge to the international community, identifying
the financing requirements for a higher level of ambition on renewable energy and
land use.
Make the link to national energy planning and renewable energy ambition: If SubSaharan Africa aggressively promotes renewables, it could reduce CO2 emissions
by 27 per cent. But this would require an additional US$153 billion in finance to
2040.277
•
Convert fossil-fuel energy subsidies into investments in sustainable energy for all:
Governments in Africa should use their INDCs to set timetables for eliminating the
US$21 billion spent on subsidies to fossil-fuel energy, identifying measures for
protecting the interests of poor consumers.
•
End gas flaring: The flaring of gas from oil wells and gas extraction sites wastes
energy, creates pollution and contributes to global warming. The principal
countries involved in gas flaring –Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon and
Nigeria – should use their INDCs to identify the investment costs and technical
requirements for phasing out flaring by 2020. Angola, Cameroon and Gabon
are signatories to the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative. Other relevant
countries should sign up. Private-sector companies should support this effort,
working through the Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.
•
Set out strategies on land use and conservation: The INDCs could build on
the strategies developed by Ethiopia to identify interventions aimed at valuing
forestry resources, extending access to clean cooking facilities, and establishing
communal rights to identify opportunities for scaled-up development partnerships.
6. Put the African climate vision into action
The African Common Positions developed by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN)
and endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN)
provide the basis for a strong set of demands that African countries can collectively
take to Paris. However, African governments have often failed to act on agreed
positions and the shared interests that underpin those positions. “Going it alone” is an
ill-advised strategy. International negotiations on climate change are marked by power
asymmetry not just between African countries and the governments of rich countries,
but between Africa and the major emerging economies. Acting separately, African
governments will weaken the region’s collective voice, opening the door to a deal that
lacks sufficient ambition and fails to provide adequate adaptation finance. There is a
need for greater cohesion among African countries in terms of the positions they take
to Paris, as well as in how they negotiate.
Drive innovation and deliver
Africa is endowed with vast untapped resources of renewable energy. These resources
can play a key role in providing electricity for all at an affordable cost, both through
on-grid and off-grid applications. By mid-century, renewable sources could account for
70 per cent or more of Africa’s energy provision. In planning for the development of
renewable energy, African governments and development partners should:
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1. Seize the opportunity to “leapfrog” to renewable-friendly regulations
Develop coherent renewable strategies: African governments should use IRENA’s
renewable energy assessments to identify priority areas for investment and develop
long-term plans, backed by credible and transparent incentives. Current rules on the
pricing of renewable energy are often unclear, and onerous administrative procedures
and grid-connection requirements impede the development of utility-scale projects.
Create an enabling environment: To enable low-carbon energy providers to grow to
the scale of utilities, governments need to establish targeted, long-term funding schemes
and robust and supportive institutional frameworks at national level. There is need to
deepen energy-sector reform and strengthen utility governance. Governments should
improve technical and managerial capacity; progressively unbundle power generation,
transmission and distribution; and establish robust independent regulatory systems.
Prospects for attracting investment hinge critically on the establishment of credible
off-take arrangements through utilities or power purchasers. Large up-front capital
costs mean that renewable providers need security with respect to power-purchase
agreements. In countries such as China and Brazil, national development banks have
been prominently involved in the development of competitive renewable industries,
providing subsidized credit to finance renewable energy.
Establish competitive pricing, auctions can supplement feed-in tariffs: African
governments face a dilemma on approaches to market support for providers of
renewable energy. Early investors face significant risks in complex energy markets
that lack the infrastructure, local capacity and regulatory systems that have generated
high returns for investors into renewable energy in other regions. One option is to
incentivize investment through subsidies and feed-in tariffs of the type used in Germany.
The experience of South Africa demonstrates that auctions have the potential to
attract investment and drive down costs simultaneously. Despite some past difficulties
in implementation, renewable-energy auctions have become a popular policy tool
in recent years. When well designed, the price competition inherent in the auction
scheme increases cost efficiency and allows price discovery of electricity based
on renewable energy, avoiding potential windfall profits and underpayments. The
potential downside is that successful bidders are often the larger players that can
afford the associated administrative and transaction costs.
Develop an active industrial strategy for renewables: Aligned with the African Union’s
Agenda 2063, African governments need to develop an industrial strategy for scaling
up renewables. Development of renewable energy in Africa is almost entirely dependent
on imported technologies and there is only limited local content and value-added
when investments are made. In some cases, recourse to development finance and risk
instruments has locked countries into tendering processes favouring equipment imported
from OECD countries, which is often more costly than comparable equipment produced by
firms in China and India. Governments should give consideration to reducing import duties,
while supporting the development of an African renewables sector through domestic and
foreign investment. African governments should actively engage with potential investors in
manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable technologies.
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Promote science technology and research for innovation and jobs. Africa’s leaders
must champion local technological capability to move the continent from importing
energy technologies to becoming a leading producer. This would increase Africa’s
productive capacity and employment. Implementation of the African Union’s Science,
Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 is a key way to achieve these
aims.
2. Adopt new models of planned urbanization
Only 71 per cent of Africa’s urban population has connections to electricity and that
proportion is declining as electricity providers cannot keep up with the rapid pace
of urbanization.278 Historically, Africa’s cities have been the passive beneficiaries of
national energy regimes dominated by state-owned utilities. In a reformed African
energy sector, cities will take on greater responsibility for generation, distribution
and demand management. More broadly, well-planned urbanization supported by
world-class public transport is not only more energy-efficient but will also be crucial for
decoupling future economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.
Recognize the importance of meeting rising urban energy demand for national
economic growth. Few African governments have national urbanization strategies
integrated with economic policy and even fewer have comprehensive plans for
meeting urban energy demand. African leaders should develop urbanization strategies
with cross-departmental representation, assigned budgets and financing mechanisms,
and take advantage of opportunities to galvanize action in 2015 as the sustainable
development goal (SDG) for urban areas is established.
Establish independent market operators charged with procuring energy from cities,
private companies and state-owned utilities by mayors working with the national
government and local stakeholders. Electricity supply needs to be diversified and
brought closer to rising urban demand, to avoid transmission losses and create local
economic opportunity. Cities should do more to generate electricity by drawing on
landfill gas, rooftop installations and strategic investments in local power producers.
Encourage urban demand-side management through the use of household-scale solar
technologies. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that there could
be more than 500 million micro-photovoltaic (PV) units (generating 200 watts or less)
in Africa by 2030. This estimate seems conservative given the current use of kerosene
and the relative cost of this fuel. Displacement of kerosene could be encouraged by
quality guarantees and local incentives for PV technologies.
Encourage compact, connected urban development through zoning legislation and
the strategic location of public infrastructure and public transport. Compact cities can
achieve six times the neighbourhood energy efficiency (including transport) of more
dispersed, sprawling, low-density development.279 Leaders should strengthen strategic
planning at the city, regional and national levels, with a focus on improved land-use
and integrated multi-modal transport infrastructure. These efforts should be supported by
regulatory reform to promote higher-density, mixed-use, infill development, and reforms
to create more effective and accountable city-level institutions.
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Pulling the plug on waste and corruption
1. Redirect the US$21 billion spent annually on subsidies
Governments should remove subsidies covering utility losses and kerosene and redirect
them to productive investment in energy, social protection and subsidized connectivity
for the poor. Around half of the savings, US$10 billion annually, should be diverted from
consumption subsidies for the rich to connection subsidies and financing for the poor.
2. Increase the transparency of energy utilities
Leaders must tackle vested interests and break the webs of political patronage in
energy utilities. Long-term national interest must override short-term political gain.
Utilities must be required through legislation to publish the terms of all off-take
arrangements and emergency power-purchase agreements, and tendering should only
be done through locally registered and regulated companies.
3. End tax evasion and stem illicit revenue flows
African governments should support the recommendations of the African Union and
UNECA’s High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. These include curtailing
trade-related illicit flows and integrating combating illicit financial flows as a specific
component in the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.
African countries should ensure they have clear legislation and regulation to protect
themselves against illicit financial flows, including by making trade mispricing
illegal. African countries must also urgently build their tax capacity to raise tax by
establishing special units with the appropriate technical and financial capabilities.
These could include financial intelligence units, anti-fraud agencies, customs and
border agencies, and anti-corruption agencies.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Demonstrate leadership on reducing emissions
1. Raise the level of ambition at the Paris Climate Summit
Set a course for a sub-2˚C warming threshold: The international community should
set a high level of ambition, with targeted cuts of 70 per cent by 2050. This is at
the upper end of the range identified in the IPPC Fifth Assessment as consistent with a
pathway to global average temperature increase of 2˚C and at the lower end of the
range for a chance of reverting to a 1.5˚C increase.
Set the right ambition: Meeting the 70 per cent reduction target in a manner consistent
with basic equity will require zero net emissions from rich countries by 2050, with the
major emerging markets following by 2070. This should be reflected in the INDCs.
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Strengthen the commitment made by major emitting countries:
•
The European Union should commit to 50 per cent emission cuts by 2030 and
zero emissions by 2050. The EU should commit also to eliminating coal from
power generation by 2030.
•
The United States should commit to a 40 per cent reduction and the elimination of
coal-fired power generation by 2030 and a zero emissions pathway to 2050.
•
China should aim to peak in 2025 at an emissions level of 11 billion tonnes
of CO2e (0.7 billion tonnes below projected levels for 2030), building on the
aggressive promotion of renewable energy, the proposed cap on coal and
energy-efficiency measures.
End the free rides: Australia, Canada, Japan and the Russian Federation should set a clear
course for zero emissions by 2050, with deep reductions by 2030. These countries might
consider the far higher level of ambition set by Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
2. Align policies with commitments and phase out fossil-fuel subsidies
Policies are needed to drive a low-carbon transition encompass a vast array of areas,
ranging from energy-efficiency standards to land-use practices and the development of
renewable technologies. Several priority areas stand out:
Set carbon budgets: Carbon budgeting is critical if the decentralized INDC approach
is to deliver credible results. All developed and middle-income countries should adopt
carbon budgets that chart a clear course towards zero-carbon status. The budgets
should include legislative provisions for a binding ceiling on emissions using five-year
periods benchmarked against the 2050 targets.
Adopt stringent carbon pricing: Weak carbon pricing discourages investment in
renewable energy and leads markets to underprice the costs of greenhouse gas
emissions in terms of local pollution and damage to the global commons. The credible
starting point for a 2015 carbon price in rich countries is around EUR21/US$23, rising
to EUR41/US$45 by 2020 and at annual increments of around 7 per cent thereafter.
Cut fossil-fuel subsidies: Subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration and production are
particularly damaging because they direct public money towards “unburnable” carbon
assets. This combines a reckless approach to fiscal prudence with a disregard for
climate change. The Paris climate agreement should aim at a comprehensive phase-out
of all fossil-fuel subsidies by 2025, with appropriate support for low-income countries:
• EU members, the United States and other developed countries should withdraw by
2018 all tax concessions, royalty relief and fiscal transfers associated with fossil-fuel
exploration and exploitation, and by 2020 all state aid to fossil-fuel industries.
• G20 members agreed in 2009 to “rationalize and phase out over the medium
term inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.” They must
now act on that by agreeing on policies and monitoring mechanisms for eliminating
fossil-fuel subsidies by 2020.
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Get coal out of power generation in developed countries: Developed countries have
the financial, technological and wider capabilities needed to stop using coal for
power generation by 2030.
Review unburnable carbon assets: Financial regulators should require full disclosure
reporting on financial assets and require companies and institutional investors to make
provisions for loss.
Build confidence through strengthened monitoring, reporting and verification:
Effective monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) holds the key to the credibility of
the Paris agreement. The standards for monitoring have been developed through the
UNFCCC. The Paris agreement should include a regular review and reporting cycle
of no more than five years. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is well
placed to lead this exercise, building on its current “climate gap” work.
Commit to equity: Without commitment to equity there will be no agreement in Paris.
Developed countries must set a level of ambition that reflects their historic responsibility,
along with their financial, technological and institutional capabilities. Their INDCs must
also set out commitments in vital areas such as technology transfer, climate finance and
support for adaptation.
Deliver the finance
The Paris climate summit provides an opportunity to deepen international cooperation.
This is an agenda that goes far beyond aid and climate finance, though both are
important. Technology transfer, trade, private investment, shared research and
development, and cooperation between cities all have roles to play. For Africa,
the negotiations in Paris present an opportunity to develop new partnerships for
sustainable development. Linking the climate talks to action at the Addis Ababa summit
on financing for development is critical.
1. Overhaul the climate-finance architecture
A global fund for connectivity operating under the SE4All framework: If current trends
continue, around 645 million Africans will still lack access to electricity in 2030. Aid
donors should commit at the Addis Ababa financing summit to providing US$3 billion
in official development assistance and mobilizing US$7 billion in concessional finance
to lower that barrier. Delivery could be coordinated and channelled through the
SE4ALL partnership, and geared towards on-grid, mini-grid and off-grid provision (Box
17). African governments seeking to access the finance would be required to develop
national action plans for universal access and to provide co-financing. The fund for
connectivity would help facilitate the development of markets for off-grid provision and
stimulate the development of innovative business models aimed at lowering the up-front
costs that are excluding poor households from energy provision. Effectively deployed,
financing for off-grid connectivity would stimulate investment, innovation and market
demand for private investors who can provide electricity to people living at the “base
of the pyramid”, earning less than US$2.50 a day.
Act on the Copenhagen commitment: Developed countries should commit to a clear
and transparent pathway to mobilize the US$100 billion annually in public and private
finance by 2020 as agreed by all Parties to the UNFCCC. This was an integral part
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BOX 17 DELIVERING ENERGY FOR ALL THROUGH A GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY FUND
Roughly US$20 billion a year will be required to 2030 to achieve universal access to energy. Beyond the
finance, “going to zero” so that no-one lacks access to electricity will require a mix of three broad delivery
approaches:
• Extend the grid: Most of the urban population and probably around half of the rural population will be most
effectively reached through the grid. Subsidizing grid connections for the poor is a more efficient and equitable
use of public finance than the subsidizing energy consumption by the non-poor, which dominates current
financing arrangements.
• Mini-grids: Where the distance from the grid is too large and the population density too low to make grid
connection economically viable, mini-grids can be a cost-effective alternative. The IEA estimates that over 40
per cent of all installed capacity to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 will be most economically
delivered by mini-grids, though the share may be higher in Africa.
• Off-grid: Falling prices and the increased efficiency of batteries are making off-grid energy solutions, especially
solar lanterns and home systems, increasing viable. Off-grid provision is likely to remain the first step on the
ladder to modern energy in many rural areas and urban informal settlements.
The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) partnership provides a framework for international cooperation to deliver
on the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to energy. The SE4All Africa Hub, which is housed at
the Africa Development Bank, brings together a range of regional organizations, alongside international agencies
and financial institutions. Some 42 countries in Africa are members of the partnership. Participating countries
draw up “rapid assessments”, intended to lay the groundwork for scaling up in priority areas, to identify strategic
reforms and to attract new investments and financial support. However, the assessments are partial in nature, are
weakly linked to planning for universal access and lack bridges to concrete financing provisions.
More ambitious approaches could transform SE4All into a powerful catalyst for change:
• Governments in the SE4All partnership should development national action plans for achieving universal access
by 2030, with clearly delineated financing requirements, delivery mechanisms and reporting systems.
• African governments should commit around US$10 billion in public finance to support universal access to
energy.
• The SE4All financing framework should be developed to provide an equivalent amount in development finance
through grant aid, risk and credit guarantees, and a mix of market-based and concessional finance to support
the delivery of mini-grid and off-grid solutions to “base-of-the-pyramid” customers.
What the Africa Progress Panel envisages for the fund is not an old-style aid-financing mechanism. Universal
access to energy represents an investment opportunity for companies and a savings opportunity for households
and is structurally different to, for example, financing for public health and vaccines. As we show in this report,
business-to-consumer providers of renewable energy can offer households energy at prices below those of
kerosene and consumers can replace payments for kerosene with spending on solar home-systems. Investors can
recover costs, typically in one to two years, and consumers can secure lower prices for energy. Unlocking the
market failure that prevents these gains requires innovative business models allied to market support aimed at
lowering up-front costs.
The operational and financial modalities would have to be worked out. One option would be to draw on some
of the best practices of the global health funds, with technical support for the development of national plans
submitted for independent review. However, the financing portfolio would include not just aid but a broad range
of development-financing instruments, with the mix determined country by country.
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of the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit commitment. Under the financial mechanism
of UNFCCC, the Green Climate Fund has a central role to play in mobilizing and
channelling the financial resources and has mobilized US$10 billion equivalent for
2014. Global estimates indicate that US$30 billion has been mobilized. However,
there are concerns over reporting systems that appear to facilitate double counting.
The Paris summit provides an opportunity to set a schedule, identify the mix of public and
private finance flows, and establish a reporting system with the transparency needed to
build confidence.
2. Seize the Addis opportunity
The Addis summit provides an opportunity to set out the new financing commitments
needed to underpin an ambitious climate agreement. Developed countries should commit
to an additional US$15 billion in public finance to support climate-resilient development
and a further US$10 billion in finance for mitigation through mechanisms such as the
Clean Technology Fund and the GCF.
Make the Green Climate Fund work for Africa: The GCF offers an opportunity to overcome
the fragmentation in the climate-finance architecture and to correct the imbalance between
mitigation and adaptation financing. The GCF has already adopted a target to balance
its financing by 50-50 between mitigation and adaptation. The GCF could also provide a
focal point for strengthened international cooperation on climate. For the fund to deliver on
its potential, it needs to provide an early demonstration of its capacity for innovative action
at scale. African leaders have a role to play in seeking transparency in the Paris Agreement
on the GCF’s growing amounts of new climate finance to developing countries post 2020.
Among the initiatives the GCF could take up:
•
Increase capitalization of the GCF: Capitalization should be increased from the
current commitment level of US$ 10 billion to US$ 20 billion.
•
Create a financing window for off-grid energy: The proposed window would
support the private sector, government and CSO investments with a specific
remit to expand electricity supply in hard to reach areas. Initially capitalised by
grants and development finance, the window would provide credit guarantees
and equity investment for companies providing renewable energy to households
beyond the grid. Around US$5 billion would be earmarked for Sub-Saharan
Africa.
•
Consolidate adaptation funds: Governments in Africa and other regions are
confronted with an excessively fragmented and underfunded system of adaptation
finance. Bringing the existing funds under a single transformative adaptation
window, housed in the GCF, would offer efficiency savings and reduce
transaction costs.
•
Increase transformative adaptation financing: Support for climate-resilient
development should include an additional US$5 billion annually in public finance
for measures aimed at supporting adaptation activities that lower risk and raise
productivity, including investment in rural infrastructure, social protection, research
and development, and strategies for combating soil erosion, deforestation and
forest degradation.
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3. Unlock private finance
Rethink global banking regulations: The global financial crisis prompted a series of
reform initiatives aimed at strengthening financial regulation, including a new set of global
banking standards (Basel III) that were initially intended for implementation in the most
advanced economies. African countries have been urged to adhere to Basel standards, but
they include more stringent rules on capital-adequacy and liquidity that are likely to deter
investment in the energy sector by large investors, as well as by small and medium-sized
enterprises.280 African regulators would be well advised to avoid premature adoption of
Basel III standards, or if already adopted, to reform these standards in the light of domestic
market needs.
4. Boost the energy focus of multilateral institutions
Expand the role of the African Development Bank: The current project-financing
architecture should be enhanced to serve Africa better. It typically takes seven years to
go from conception to finance, in part because of weak capacity to develop bankable
projects and in part because risk-guarantee, credit and financing arrangements are so
complex. The AfDB should be financed to play a greater regional role in developing
bankable projects. The Bank should also be supported to develop its range of
instruments and interventions further, including public-private partnerships, partial risk
guarantees, investment projects and advisory services. Innovative financing instruments
that catalyze additional finance and private investment will also be essential.
Mobilize finance for the Africa50 fund: The third International Financing for
Development conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015 provides an opportunity
to make the commitments needed to support the Africa50 facility proposed by the
AfDB. The facility is to be structured as a development-oriented entity that is operated
as a commercial enterprise. The aim is to secure an equity investment of US$10
billion, thereby attracting US$100 billion of local and global capital. Governments,
development-finance institutions and the World Bank Group should support an initial
US$3 billion in investments to establish credibility with governments, private developers
and financial markets. In order to ensure reliable access to capital markets while also
offering additional operational flexibility and affordable capital, the Africa50 fund will
target an investment-grade rating. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank established by
China, the New Development Bank created by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa) and the Infrastructure Fund of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) represent innovative responses to systemic challenges in infrastructure
financing. Each has a strong emphasis on energy. There is a danger that, in the absence
of a regional initiative, the energy financing gap will widen.
Establish a “one-shop” mechanism for securing appropriate risk guarantees from
different agencies: Governments and potential investors seeking risk guarantees face
high transaction costs. The AfDB and the World Bank should lead the development of
a coordination mechanism with development finance institutions through which project
proposals can be treated on an integrated basis. Development finance institutions
should scale up their risk-guarantee provisions.
Strengthen the role of multilateral development banks (MDBs): The MDBs should play
a far stronger role in mobilizing investment for energy infrastructure. The World Bank
is able to mobilize large multiples of its callable capital because of its AAA credit
rating. Currently low-income countries access only the Bank’s concessional IDA facility,
which makes a modest contribution to energy-sector financing. Low-income countries in
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Africa are borrowing on bond markets at 6-8 per cent, while they are unable to secure
loans from the World Bank at 1-2 per cent. The time has come to revisit to institutional
rules and practices that lead to this perverse outcome. The World Bank Group should
also scale up its risk-guarantee instruments. Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
(MIGA) plays a useful role, but it is small and has compliance requirements that are
often difficult to meet. Its operations in Africa need to be simplified and scaled up.
Concessional aid could also be used to pay MIGA’s insurance premium on strategic
infrastructure investments.
Explore the creation of development banks: From China and Vietnam to India
and Brazil, national development banks have played a pivotal role in infrastructure
development by accelerating development of bankable projects, attracting private
finance and developing technical standards for regulation.
Increase investments: Subject to clear safeguards on resettlement, development financing
institutions should be playing a more active role in expanding investments in crossborder transmission links and hydro projects considered too risky by the private sector.
Multilateral development banks and development finance institutions should take a lead.
5. Rethink adaptation
Current approaches to climate change adaptation are not working. National adaptation
plans reflect a bias towards project-based responses to climate risk. Building on the
planning model adopted by Ethiopia, governments in Africa and aid agencies should
adopt “transformative adaptation” planning approaches that address systemic risk on
a programme basis. These approaches should include provisions for scaled-up social
protection, investment measures to raise agricultural productivity and changed land-use
practices. Around US$10 billion of the additional climate-resilient development aid
proposed for the Addis summit should be earmarked for Sub-Saharan Africa. Donors should
consider supporting climate-resilient development initiatives through matched funding for
adaptation, up to a fixed ceiling.
Restore degraded lands: Africa represents around one-third of global opportunities for land
and forest restoration. There is a pressing case for increasing ambition through national
action and international partnerships.
Reform REDD+: The climate agreement should include provisions for sufficient, stable and
durable financing through the United Nations REDD+programme for reducing deforestation
and forest degradation including conservation, sustainable management of forests and
enhancement of forest carbon stocks. This should include payments scaled up to at least
US$5 billion annually on a global basis. African governments should seek significant
reforms. REDD+should recognize the technical, capacity and governance constraints
faced by many countries and allow for a narrower focus on a smaller range of themes. For
example, financing could be linked to tangible reforms of the charcoal sector, support for the
distribution of clean cooking stoves, and more stringent enforcement of regulations on forest
conservation.
Strengthen the Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves: The Alliance has an ambitious 10year goal to foster the adoption of clean cooking stoves and fuels in 100 million households
by 2020. Aid donors could strengthen the alliance by creating an innovation fund that
provides advance purchase commitments and by working with public, private and non-profit
partners to overcome the market barriers that impede production, deployment, and use of
clean cooking stoves.
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Act collectively to combat global corruption and advance
transparency
1. Advance transparency in energy
Contract and negotiation transparency must be increased in international energy deals.
Furthermore, Africa’s renewables revolution must be placed on a transparent and
well-managed foundation that includes enforcement of existing certification systems
and increased capacity to implement international standards in national procurement
systems to avoid the dumping of old and inappropriate technologies, corruption, and
mismanagement.
2. Redouble efforts to combat tax evasion
While the G20/OECD reforms on base erosion and profit shifting are powerful
and essential, they must be extended more rapidly to benefit African nations. The
international community should help African nations to build their capacity to raise tax
domestically and to protect themselves against illicit financial outflows, especially via
inaccurate trade invoicing. Other priority actions include establishing public registries
of who owns companies; making automatic exchange of tax information available
to African countries; with the assistance of the IMF, agreeing on how to define,
measure and track illicit flows; and making accessible to African customs departments
commercially available trade databases to enable them to identify, investigate and
interdict good that have been misinvoiced.
PRIVATE INVESTORS AND MULTINATIONAL
COMPANIES
1. Demand an ambitious Paris climate agreement
The business community should work with cities, municipal authorities, civil-society
organizations and governments to demand an ambitious Paris climate agreement,
backed by carbon pricing and taxation. All companies should establish and publish a
“shadow price” for carbon in their company accounts.
2. Play a leadership role in the global transparency movement
Get out of carbon: The institutional investment community should demand more
transparent reporting on the “unburnable” carbon assets of energy companies and
move towards early divestment of fossil-fuel assets, especially coal.
Stop the secrecy: Foreign investors and African companies should provide full
disclosure of their beneficial ownership structures and transparent reporting on energyrelated contracts, including electricity off-take arrangements. Companies must reduce
illicit financial flows and pay a fair tax in the appropriate jurisdiction.
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3. Review risk assessments and invest responsibly in Africa
Africa’s energy market is huge and growing. International investors should review
their risk assessments for energy projects in Africa and seize opportunities to drive the
development of low-carbon infrastructure. African business leaders should engage
with governments to identify the conditions for increasing investment in energy-sector
infrastructure and they should lead the development of new low-carbon energy
partnerships. Energy investors should develop innovative business models aimed at
lowering market entry costs for electricity and efficient cook-stoves.
Investors and governments should work together to establish low-carbon production
capabilities. If Africa is to take off as a green energy power, the region needs to
attract the necessary investment. This could initially take the form of plant to assemble
equipment to generate low-carbon energy. Partnerships with Chinese, European and
US investors could open the door to the production, hence reducing import costs,
creating opportunities for learning and establishing links to local markets.
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LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
AfDB
AF
AGN
AMCEN
ASAP
ASEAN
BEL
BIO
BRICS
CAT
CDC
CIFs
African Development Bank
Adaptation Found
African Group of Negotiators
African Ministerial Conference on the Environment
Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Bujagali Energy Limited
Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries
Brazil Russia India China South Africa
Climate Action Tracker
Commonwealth Development Corporation
Climate Investment Funds
C02
CoP
CRGE
DfID
DFI
DRC
EAIF
EFP
EIB
EU-Africa ITF
ETS
FDI
FMO
GCF
GDP
GERD
GHG
GNI
GSMA
GT
GW
HAP
HDI
ICBC IDA
IDCOL
IEA
IFAD
IFC
IMF
INDCs
IPCC
IPPs
IPS
IPTL
IRENA
KEG
Carbon Dioxide
Conference of the Parties
Climate-Resilient Green Economy
Department for International Development
development finance institution
Democratic Republic of Congo
Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund
European Financing Partners
European Investment Bank
EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund
Emission trading schemes
foreign direct investment
Netherlands Development Finance Company
Green Climate Fund
gross domestic product
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
greenhouse gas
gross national income
Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association
gigatonne
gigawatt
household air pollution
Human Development Index
Industrial Commercial Bank of China
International Development Association
Infrastructure Development Company Limited
International Energy Agency
International Fund for Agricultural Development
International Finance Corporation
International Monetary Fund
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Independent Power Providers
Industrial Promotion Services
Independent Power Tanzania Limited
International Renewable Energy Agency
Karadeniz Energy Group
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KFW
KV
kWh
LDUs LED
MDBs
MDGs
MIGA
MRV
MT
MW
NBET
NEPA
NIPPs
NMHS
NORFUND
ODA
ODCOL
ODF
ODI
OECD
ONE
OPIC
OAU
PFIs
PHCN PIDA
PPAs
PPI
PPP
PRG
PSNP
REDD+
REIPPP
SCCF
SDGs
SE4All
SENELEC
SMEs
SONABEL
SONABHY
SREP
TEL
TANESCO
TRA
TWh
UNEP
UNFCCC
VAT
WHO
German Development Bank
kilovolt
kilowatt per hour
local distribution utilities
Light-emitting diodes
Multilateral Development Banks
Millennium Development Goals
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
monitoring, reporting and verification
megaton
megawatts
Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading
National Electric Power Authority (Nigeria)
National Integrated Power Projects
National Meteorological and Hydrological Services
Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries
official development assistance
Infrastructure Development Company Limited
official development finance
Overseas Development Institute
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Office National de l’Electricité
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Organisation of African Union
Public Finance Institutions
Power Holding Company Nigeria
Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa
Power Purchase Agreements
private participation infrastructure
Public-private partnerships
Partial Risk Guarantee
Productive Safety Net Programme (Ethiopia)
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement
Special Climate Change Fund
Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Energy for All
Société nationale d’électricité du Sénégal
small and medium-size enterprises
Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso
Société Nationale Burkinabè d’Hydrocarbures
Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Countries Programme
Toyola Energy Limited
Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited
Tanzania Revenue Authority
terawatt per hour
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
value-added tax
World Health Organisation
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THE APP COMMISSIONED THE FOLLOWING BACKGROUND PAPERS:
Asafu-Adjaye, J. (2015) (unpublished), “Climate risk as a threat to Africa’s development: The case of Ghana,” Institute of Economic Affairs
background paper for the Africa Progress Panel Report 2015
Cartwright, A. (2015) (forthcoming), “Better Growth, Better Climate, Better Cities: Rethinking and Redirecting Urbanisation in Africa,” New Climate
Economy and African Centre for Cities background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Delgado, C., Hino, M and Grist, N. (2015) (forthcoming), “Transforming Agriculture and Land Use in Africa,” New Climate Economy, Overseas
Development Institute and World Resources Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Frejova, J. and Godfrey, N. (2015) (unpublished), “Time to Seize the Day: The Impact of the Fall in Oil Prices for Growth and Opportunities for
Diversifying the Energy Mix in Sub-Saharan Africa,” New Climate Economy background note for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Godfrey, N. and Zhao, X. (2015) (forthcoming), “The Contribution of African Cities to the Economy and Climate: Population, Economic Growth,
and Carbon Emission Dynamics,” New Climate Economy background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Kabukuru, W. (2015) (unpublished), Background papers on coal, wind power, geothermal energy, solar and biofuels. Indian Ocean Observatory
Lambe, F., Jürisoo, M., Wanjiru, H., and Senyagwa, J. (2015) (forthcoming), “Thermal Energy for Cooking,” New Climate Economy and Stockholm
Environment Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Martius, C. (2015) (unpublished), “REDD+ in Africa: status, trends, and developments,” Center for International Forestry research paper for the Africa
Progress Report 2015
Modi, V. (2013) (unpublished), “Electricity Access,” Background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015. New York: Columbia University and
UN Millennium Project
Moll, C. (2015) (unpublished), “Challenges in the supply and procurement of renewables: A South African success story,” Lexchange background
paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Scott, A. (2015) (forthcoming), “Building electricity systems for growth, access and sustainability in Africa,” New Climate Economy, Overseas
Development Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Thomson, M.C., Dinku, T, and Connor, S. (2015) (unpublished), “Enhancing the Climate for African Development,” International Research Institute for
Climate and Society background paper for the Africa Progress Panel Report 2015
Uneze, E. (2015) (unpublished), “Climate risk as a threat to Africa’s development,” and “Rethinking Public Finance Priorities,” Centre for the Study of
the Economies of Africa background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
Van der Burg, L. and Whitley, S. (2015) (forthcoming), “Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa,” New Climate Economy and Overseas
Development Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
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Energy (Million Metric Tons). Accessed 2 May, 2015, http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8.
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164
POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
SOURCES – INFOGRAPHICS
THE ENERGY LEAPFROG
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AFRICA’S ENERGY GAP: THE COSTS OF THE DIVIDE
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OPPORTUNITIES
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NOTES - PART 01
1.
African Union. (2014). Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Ethiopia: The African Union. Accessed on 10
April, 2015, http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/uploaded-documents/Macroeconomy/post2015/cap-post2015_en.pdf
2.
Moss, T., Caine, M., Lloyd, J., Luke, M. (2014). Our High Energy Planet: A Climate Pragmatism Project. Accessed 08 April, 2015, http://
thebreakthrough.org/images/pdfs/Our-High-Energy-Planet.pdf
3.
Scott, A. (2015) (forthcoming). Building electricity systems for growth, access and sustainability in Africa. New Climate Economy Background
paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015, Overseas Development Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute
4.
Report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals. (2014). Accessed 07 April, 2105, https://
sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/1579SDGs%20Proposal.pdf
5.
United Nations. (2011). Sustainable Energy for All. A Vision Statement by Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations. New York: United
Nations. Accessed on 10 April, 2015, http://www.se4all.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/SG_Sustainable_Energy_for_All_vision.pdf
Sustainable Energy for All. (n.d). Country Level Actions. Accessed on 10 April, 2015, http://www.se4all.org/actions-commitments/country-levelactions/Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. (n.d). Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals. New York: United
Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Accessed on 10 April, 2015, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html
6.
McKinsey. (2015). Brighter Africa: The Growth Potential of the Sub-Saharan Electricity Sector. New York: McKinsey & Company. Accessed 08
April, 2015, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/powering_africa
7.
Bazilian, M., Nussbaumer, P., Rogner, H-H., Brew-Hammond, A., et al. (2012). Energy Access Scenarios to 2030 for the Power Sector in SubSaharan Africa. Utilities Policy 20, 1-16. Accessed on 02 April, 2015, https://gspp.berkeley.edu/assets/uploads/research/pdf/Bazilian_
et_al_2012_Energy_Access_Scenarios_to_2030.pdf
8.
AfDB. (2014). Development Effectiveness Review 2014. Abidjan: The African Development Bank Group. Accessed on 08 April, 2015, http://
www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Development_Effectiveness_Review_Energy_2014/TDER_Energy__En__-__web_.pdf
9.
This figure excludes South Africa.
10.
Africa’s gas-fired fleet is dominated by open-cycle gas turbines rather than higher efficiency combined-cycle gas turbines.
11.
IEA. (2011). Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor. World Energy Outlook. Paris: International Energy Agency. Accessed on 01 April,
2015, http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/media/weowebsite/energydevelopment/weo2011_energy_for_all.pdf
12.
Eberhard, A., Rosnes, O., Shkaratan, M., and Vennemo, H. (2011). Africa’s Power Infrastructure: Investment, Integration,
Efficiency. Washington DC: The World Bank. Accessed on March 29, 2015, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/
handle/10986/2290/613090PUB0Afri158344B09780821384558.pdf?sequence=1
13.
For an excellent overview of the links between energy and human development see: Modi, V., McDade, S., Lallement, D. and Saghir, J.
(2005). Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goals. New York and Washington, D.C: UNDP, Millennium Project, World Bank and
ESMAP; Moss, T., Caine, M., Lloyd, J., Luke, M. (2014). Our High Energy Planet: A Climate Pragmatism Project.
14.
Foster,V., and Steinbuks, J. (2008). Paying the Price for Unreliable Power Supplies: In-House Generation of Electricity by Firms in Africa. (Policy
Research Working Paper 4913). Washington, DC: The World Bank. Accessed on 05 April, 2015, http://infrastructureafrica.org/system/
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15.
McKinsey. (2015). Brighter Africa: The Growth Potential of the Sub-Saharan Electricity Sector. New York: McKinsey & Company. Accessed 08
April, 2015, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/powering_africa
16.
Scott, A., Darko, E., Lemma, A. and Rud, J-P. (2014). How does electricity insecurity affect businesses in low and middle-income countries?
London: Overseas Development Institute. Accessed on 07 April, 2015, http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/pdf/outputs/Energy/61270-Electricityinsecurity-impact-SMEs-010914.pdf
17.
McKinsey. (2015). Brighter Africa: The Growth Potential of the Sub-Saharan Electricity Sector. New York: McKinsey & Company. Accessed 08
April, 2015, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/powering_africa
18.
McKinsey. (2015). Brighter Africa: The Growth Potential of the Sub-Saharan Electricity Sector. New York: McKinsey & Company. Accessed 08
April, 2015, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/powering_africa
19.
Eberhard, A., Rosnes, O., Shkaratan, M., and Vennemo, H. (2011). Africa’s Power Infrastructure: Investment, Integration,
Efficiency. Washington DC: The World Bank. Accessed on March 29, 2015, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/
handle/10986/2290/613090PUB0Afri158344B09780821384558.pdf?sequence=1
20.
Ramachandran, V., Gelb, A., Shah, M.K. (2009). Africa’s Private Sector: What’s Wrong with the Business Environment and What to Do
About It. Washington, D.C: Center for Global Development. Accessed on March 24, 2015, http://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/
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21.
Scott, A. (2015) (forthcoming). Building electricity systems for growth, access and sustainability in Africa. New Climate Economy Background
paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015, Overseas Development Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute
22.
Lambe, F., Jürisoo, M., Wanjiru, H., Senyagwa, J. (2015) (forthcoming). Thermal Energy for Cooking. New Climate Economy and Stockholm
Environment Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
23.
Scott, A. (2015) (forthcoming). Building electricity systems for growth, access and sustainability in Africa. New Climate Economy, Overseas
Development Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute background paper for the Africa Progress Report 2015
24.
IEA. (2014). Africa Energy Outlook. World Energy Outlook Special Report. Paris: International Energy Agency. Accessed on 09 April, 2015,
https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEO2014_AfricaEnergyOutlook.pdf
25.
IMF and World Bank. (2013). Lighting Africa Program: Ethiopia Market Intelligence. Washington, D.C: International Monetary Fund and The
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167
AFRICA PROGRESS REPORT 2015
26.
Golumbeanu, R. and Barnes, D. (2013). Connection Charges and Electricity Access in Sub Saharan Africa. Policy Research Working Papers.
Washington, D.C: The World Bank
27.
These thresholds correspond to the IEA’s minimum access levels for rural and urban households.
28.
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30.
Lambe, F., Jürisoo, M., Wanjiru, H., Senyagwa, J. (2015) (forthcoming). Thermal Energy for Cooking. New Climate Economy and Stockholm
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This figure, which includes 200 million tons (MT) of firewood and 22 MT of charcoal for cooking, is based on SSA country fuel-mix surveys and
average-per-HH consumption data. It assumes six kilograms of wood per kilogram of charcoal and compares with FAO’s 2010 estimate (which
included non-household and non-cooking wood fuel uses) of 25 MT of charcoal and 280 MT of firewood (World Bank, 2015)
Solid-fuel use and charcoal-fuel production generates 120–380 MT of CO2 greenhouse gases (0.4–1.2% of global CO2 emissions) and up to
600 MT CO2- equivalent including non-Kyoto products of incomplete combustion (World Bank, 2015)
31.
Adair-Rohani, H., Zukor, K., Bonjour, S., Wilburn, S., Kuesel, A., Hebert, R., et al. (2013). Limited Electricity Access in Health Facilities
of Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review of Data on Electricity Access, Sources, and Reliability. Global Health: Science and
Practice.1(2):249-261. Accessed on 09 April, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-13-00037
32.
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33.
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34.
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35.
Lambe, F., Jürisoo, M., Wanjiru, H., Senyagwa, J. (2015) (forthcoming), “Thermal Energy for Cooking,” New Climate Economy Background
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36.
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37.
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39.
Van der Burg, L. and Whitley, S. (2015) (forthcoming). Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa. New Climate Economy and Overseas
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41.
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42.
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44.
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46.
This figure refers to the simple average across countries with available data. See IMF. (2013). Energy Subsidy Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa:
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The regional GDP for Sub-Saharan Africa was US$ 848 billion (constant 2005 USD) in 2010. See World Bank, World Development Indicators
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58.
It should be emphasized that the cost parameters are regional approximations. There is no credible ‘bottom-up’ source for estimating energy
costs based on national data. We emphasise also that the additional power generation envisaged in the IEA scenarios modest in relation to
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252. Peabody Energy has reportedly been spending between US$3-7m annually in lobbying to promote the case for coal.
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255. IEA. (2014). Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2014: Market Analysis and Forecasts to 2019. Accessed on 08 April, 2015, http://www.
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NOTES - PART 03
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POWER PEOPLE PLANET Seizing Africa’s energy and climate opportunities
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278. Eberhard, A., Rosnes, O., Shkaratan, M., and Vennemo, H. (2011). Africa’s Power Infrastructure: Investment, Integration,
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179
The Africa Progress Panel promotes Africa's development by tracking progress,
drawing attention to opportunities and
catalyzing action.
PANEL MEMBERS
Kofi Annan
Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
and Nobel Laureate
Michel Camdessus
Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Peter Eigen
Founder of Transparency International and Special Representative of the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Bob Geldof KBE
Musician, Businessman, Founder and Chair of Band Aid, Live Aid and Live8,
Co-founder of DATA and ONE Advisor and Advocate
Graça Machel
President of the Foundation for Community Development and
Founder of New Faces, New Voices
Strive Masiyiwa
Founder Econet Wireless
Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo
Governor, Bank of Botswana
Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President of Nigeria
Robert E. Rubin
Co-Chairman of the Board, Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary
of the United States Treasury
Tidjane Thiam
Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Plc.
Africa Progress Panel
P.O. Box 157
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
[email protected]
www.africaprogresspanel.org
The Africa Progress Panel prints on recycled paper
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