With pressure mounting on the world’s governments to turn their back on the fossil fuel, China and peers in South East Asia, Europe and South Asia could help deliver a coal-free future at the COP26 climate summit planned in Glasgow in November.
Energy efficiency, electrification of heating and transport, and the provision of clean cooking facilities are all going in the wrong direction as the Covid crisis deprived millions in sub-Saharan Africa of electricity use, according to a report by the IEA, IRENA, WHO, World Bank and UN Statistics Division.
A Carbon Tracker report estimates 60% of the world’s technical solar potential – enough to produce 3.5 exawatt-hours of clean electricity per year – would already be cheaper than fossil fuel if installed. Of the remainder, most would be in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which has the potential to be a global solar and wind powerhouse.
The oft-heard industry call for more supportive policy for renewables, this time in Africa, has prompted the European Commission to pledge to work with its continental counterpart on improving the clean energy regulatory environment.
UK-based Xlinks is planning to build 10.5 GW of wind and solar in Morocco and sell the power generated by the huge plant in the UK. This should be made possible by a 3,800 km high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line that would be connected to locations in Wales and Devon. The company’s CEO, Simon Morrish, spoke with pv magazine about the ambitious project, and on how it should become feasible.
A robust national strategy, a portfolio of renewable energy assets, public subsidies and, ideally, existing gas pipelines will all favor African nations aiming to become exporters in the energy storage medium, participants heard at a recent two-day green hydrogen conference.
Trade bodies the Africa Solar Industry Association and the African Hydrogen Partnership hosted a two-day virtual conference to discuss the role green hydrogen can play in economic growth across the continent–and how it could drive desalination in freshwater-starved coastal countries.
The Italian gas contractor started to develop three green hydrogen projects in the southern Italian region of Apulia and has identified land for potential projects in Albania and Morocco.
An overview of the state of solar across the continent by trade body the Africa Solar Industry Association has highlighted a patchy policy landscape where clean power ambitions are often not followed through.
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