For decades, African countries have relied heavily on traditional sources of energy that are associated with a high generation, transmission, and distribution costs. The practice has left many utility companies in the continent unable to meet the growing demand for energy. It has also contributed to the high cost of electricity.
As a result, millions of households have no access to electricity, while those that do struggle with high bills. The lack of sufficient power has also limited economic growth across Africa since most industries that rely on electrical power cannot operate to the fullest.
The issues highlight the need for Africa nations to increase their power generating capacity. This can be achieved by embracing renewable energy. Among the available sources of alternative power, solar energy stands out as the best option for Africa due to its few limitations.
But why should Africa be investing in solar energy as a feasible solution to the power problem in the continent?
Availability of the Sun Throughout the Year
The performance of solar power systems is dependent on the availability of sunlight in a given geographical location. Many hours of sunshine per day and throughout the year means that more electricity can be generated in a single day.
Compared with other continents, the sun has the utmost influence on Africa. Most nations in the region receive an average of 2000 hours of sunlight per year, with some recording up to 3500 hours. Furthermore, while some other parts of the world receive an average of 4-5 hours of sunlight per day, many African countries enjoy more than 8 hours.
The many hours of sunshine show that the sun is an abundant natural resource on the continent. Thus, by investing in solar energy even more, Africa will be taking advantage of the renewable source of energy.
By capitalizing on the many hours of sunlight available throughout the year, nations will benefit from an increased generating capacity. This will then play a crucial role in helping utility companies to meet the growing demand for electricity by the domestic, commercial, and industrial sectors.
The Need for Clean and Green Energy
There is a growing demand for clean and green energy in the world today. Developed nations such as Germany are turning away from traditional sources such as fossil fuels, which have a negative impact on the environment. The move is in line with sustainable development goals that were established to help create a better world for the current and future generations.
Africa nations should show also follow the same path and can do so by choosing to invest more in solar energy.
What makes solar power clean and green energy?
Among the advantages of solar energy are the fact that it is not mined, cannot be exhausted, and it does not emit pollutants during use. Therefore, unlike fossil fuels, it does not result in degradation and the pollution of the environment. This makes it a renewable source of energy.
Thus, by turning to solar, Africa nations will be able to produce large quantities of clean and green energy per day. This will also ensure that the continent moves together with the rest of the world in securing a sustainable tomorrow.
Solar Energy will Reduce Dependence on Hydroelectric Power and Fossil Fuels
Why hydroelectric power and fossil fuels are unreliable
Extended droughts experienced in some regions across Africa lower the water level in rivers and dams. This, in turn, affects the generation capacity of hydroelectric plants since they rely on water to drive turbines. A reduction in the amount of electricity generated per day results in power rationing that has a significant effect on businesses and industries.
Most African countries also rely on fossil fuels, which they mostly import. The prices of the raw material in the international market keep on increasing due to the growing demand. Generating plants are, therefore, forced to spend more to acquire the necessary resources.
To minimize cost, some generating companies choose to produce less, leading to power shortages. The price of raw materials also increases the cost of generating each unit of electricity, a burden that is placed on the final consumer.
Thus, it is evident that hydropower and fossil fuels do not offer a solution to Africa’s energy needs. This creates the need to add solar power into the energy mix to help address some of the power problems.
How solar energy can address the problems
Unlike fossil fuel and water, the sun is available throughout the year, making it a reliable source of energy. It is worth noting that power from the sun is only available during the day, which is one of the cons of solar energy.
However, it can still provide a solution to the power problem in Africa.
The countries can choose to rely on solar power during the day and on hydroelectric or fossil fuels during the night. This will increase the total output and also reduce the cost of electricity.
Furthermore, advancement in technology has resulted in the production of large solar energy storage batteries capable of storing large quantities of power. Governments can, therefore, choose to invest in storage banks. This will make it possible for households and businesses to utilize solar power during the day and at night.
Therefore, investing more in solar energy will bring an end to power shortages that continues to impede economic growth in the region.
African nations should invest more in solar energy since it offers a sustainable solution to the power problems facing the continent.
In doing so, they will capitalize on the many hours of sunshine available throughout the year. The move will increase the production of clean and green energy. Finally, it will end the dependence on hydroelectric power and fossil fuels, which sometimes can be unreliable.