The Power Africa initiative set up by the US Agency for International Development has recently published its ‘Transmission Roadmap to 2030‘, setting out ambitious targets and plans in order to reach the 600 million Africans without access to electricity.
Without reliable electricity, people all across Africa struggle to go about their daily lives. Developed countries take 24/7 power for granted, with supply outstripping demand.
Sub-Saharan Africa countries cannot take this liberty; they do not have the supply nor power generation, but there is for sure the demand for reliable electricity, and the Power Africa programme is helping to bridge the gap between demand and supply.
By 2030, the Power Africa Initiative hopes to; create an additional 60 million new connections, connecting Africans to the grid for the first time; increase power generation by 30,000MW; install an additional 7,500MW of transmission capacity; and, build an additional 5,000km of transmission lines across Africa.
In addition to this, the project hopes to bring 10 priority power projects to a financial close. This includes creating a central corridor from South Africa to the DRC, integrating Malawi and Namibia into the power pool; and it also includes addressing power deficits in landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso.
Today, Power Africa is currently tracking over 800 power generation projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, all of which could be built by 2030.
The future is looking likely to bring light to the 600 million Africans that are currently left in the dark, but with population increases, the advances made in electricity generation will not keep up with demand.
However, projects like this go a long way in securing a future for millions of Africans left behind by the west and the developed world. Universal access to electricity is a United Nations’s sustainable development goal, but unless a significant financial increase is made into baseload power, these countries will never be pushed out of poverty.
Baseload is vital as it provides uninterruptible 24/7 power and is the only way to build significant supply for an ever-increasing demand. Only the future will tell if developed countries are taking their commitments on the UN’s sustainable development goals seriously enough.