Green energy initiatives are helping to boost Africa's power generation

Africa power capacity to quadruple by 2040

Africa's power generation capacity is expected to quadruple by 2040, according to a survey from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Private investment, green energy initiatives and cross border energy trade are likely to contribute to the continent's installed power generation rising from 90GW in 2012 to 380GW in 2040, the survey showed.

Power cuts in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to become an "exception" rather than a norm within 10 years, according to 96 per cent of the 51 senior officials from governments, power utilities, regulators and independent power producers questioned.

"They felt that there are a lot of opportunities for Africa to leapfrog forward," said Angeli Hoekstra, PwC's Africa Power and Utility leader presenting the findings of the first Africa Power and Utilities Sector Survey. "Security of supply and affordability will remain the main areas of focus for Africa now and in five years' time."

But the investment required to make this happen and increase energy access was "immense", the report said, with the continent needed about $450bn over the next 25 years to electrify all urban areas.

Respondents said access to funding for new capital projects was a problem currently, but they hope private sector investments would help improve power production.

Three quarters said there was "a medium to high probability that the private sector will own and operate" more than half of power generating projects by 2025.

Hoekstra said governments were hoping to take advantage of cost reductions in green energy generation, but respondents highlighted a lack of regulatory change, coupled with the "failure to implement cost reflective tariffs and overall difficulty of raising finance" as barriers to investment.

"In Africa, the challenges of financing infrastructure are compounded by limited institutional capacity, fragmented regulatory systems and often underdeveloped banking and capital markets outside of the larger economies of South Africa and Nigeria," the survey said.

The respondents came from Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Uganda, Swaziland, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

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