Africa Needs $25 bn A Year For Full Electricity Access – IEA

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The number of Africans with access to electricity fell during the Covid pandemic, but $25 billion in annual investments could bring full coverage by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

The IEA said 600 million people, or 43 percent of the continent’s population, lack access to electricity — mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The number of people living without electricity increased by four percent, or 25 million people, between 2019 and 2021, after a decade of progress.

Before Covid, there had been “lots of good developments in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda,” IEA chief Fatih Birol told AFP ahead of the release of the Paris-based agency’s African Energy Outlook 2022.

“But because of Covid and the economic difficulties, we see that this positive trend is reversing now,” Birol said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to the economic strains on Africa from the Covid pandemic, as the conflict has sent the prices of energy, food and other commodities soaring, according to the IEA.

“When I look at 2022, with the high energy prices and the economic burden on the African countries, I don’t see many reasons to be hopeful,” Birol said.

But Africa could get universal access to electricity by the end of the decade with $25 billion in annual investment, according to the IEA.

Countries need to give international financial institutions, especially development banks, a “strong mandate” to make Africa and clean energy on the continent “an absolute priority”, Birol said.

“It’s not the case now,” he added.

Africa is facing more severe effects from climate change than most other parts of the world, despite emitting less energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) than any other region, the IEA said.

“We have to see a huge amount of investment coming in Africa in all parts of the energy system, but the most important one will be clean energy options,” Birol said.

“We would need to double the energy investments to reach our energy and climate goals.”

Renewables — including solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal — could account for over 80 percent of new power generation capacity in Africa by 2030, the IEA report said.

While Africa is home to 60 percent of the best solar resources worldwide, it only has one percent of installed solar energy capacity, according to the report.

High Gas Prices To Hit Demand In 2022, Says IEA

File photo

 

Demand for natural gas is expected to fall sharply in Europe and slow in Asia this year as prices have rocketed to record heights, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

Gas demand rebounded last year as the world economy recovered from the Covid pandemic and restrictions were eased, while an unusually cold winter also drove up consumption, the Paris-based IEA said.

“Supply did not keep pace which, combined with unexpected outages, led to tight markets and steep price increases, putting the brakes on demand growth in the second half of 2021,” the agency said in a report.

Consumption grew by 4.6 percent last year, more than double the decline experienced as the pandemic emerged in 2020, said the agency, which advises governments.

How demand will fare in the short-term will depend on the weather during the northern hemisphere’s heating season, the report said.

“Assuming normal temperatures, growth of the natural gas market is expected to be slowed by higher gas prices and softer economic expansion, while supply tensions may ease as offline capacity gradually returns,” the IEA said.

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Global demand is expected to grow by a more modest 0.9 percent this year to stand at 4.1 trillion cubic meters after surging by 4.6 percent in 2021.

Global production, meanwhile, is expected to increase by 1.6 percent to 4.2 trillion cubic meters.

Demand is expected to fall by more than four percent in Europe while it would slow in Asia, from a “robust” seven percent in 2021 to five percent this year.

Fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine could further fuel Europe’s already sky-high energy prices.

World’s Clean Energy Transition ‘Too Slow’, Says IEA

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2019, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol testifies on the world energy outlook before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

 

The global transition to clean energy is still far too slow to meet climate pledges and risks fuelling even greater price volatility, the International Energy Agency warned on Wednesday.

“We are not investing enough to meet for future energy needs, and the uncertainties are setting the stage for a volatile period ahead,” said IEA chief Fatih Birol.

“The social and economic benefits of accelerating clean energy transitions are huge, and the costs of inaction are immense.”

In its annual World Energy Outlook report — published just weeks before the COP26 summit in Glasgow — the IEA calculated that investment in clean energy projects and infrastructure would need to be more than trebled over the next decade if those pledges are to be met.

At the summit, countries will come under pressure to commit to decisive action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as pledged in the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Is 1.5C still achievable?

The IEA — which advises developed countries on energy policy — said that renewables such as wind and solar energy continued to grow rapidly, and electric vehicles set new sales records in 2020, even as economies were bent under the weight of Covid-19 lockdowns.

However, “this clean energy progress is still far too slow to put global emissions into sustained decline towards net zero” by 2050, which the agency believes will help limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5C.

The agency analysed two possible scenarios.

The first looked at the measures governments had already put in place or specific policies they were actively developing.

And while almost all of the increased energy demand until 2050 could be met by low emissions sources, annual emissions would still be roughly the same as today as developing economies build up their nationwide infrastructure, the IEA said.

Under this scenario, temperatures in 2100 would be 2.6C higher than pre-industrial levels.

The second scenario looked at promises made by some governments to achieve net-zero emissions in the future, which would see a doubling of clean energy investment and financing over the next decade.

If these pledges were fully implemented in time, demand for fossil fuels would peak by 2025, and global CO2 emissions fall by 40 percent by 2050, the IEA said.

Here, the global average temperature increase in 2100 would be around 2.1C, which would represent an improvement, but would still be way above the 1.5C agreed under the Paris accord, it concluded.

‘Bumpy ride’

“Reaching that path requires investment in clean energy projects and infrastructure to more than triple over the next decade,” Birol said.

“Some 70 percent of that additional spending needs to happen in emerging and developing economies.”

The IEA argued that the extra investment might be less of a burden than some might think.

“More than 40 percent of the required emissions reductions would come from measures that pay for themselves, such as improving efficiency, limiting gas leakage, or installing wind or solar in places where they are now the most competitive electricity generation technologies,” it said.

The report also highlighted that insufficient investment was contributing to uncertainty over the future.

“Spending on oil and natural gas has been depressed by price collapses in 2014-15 and again in 2020. As a result, it is geared towards a world of stagnant or even falling demand,” the IEA said.

“At the same time, spending on clean energy transitions is far below what would be required to meet future needs in a sustainable way.”

That means energy markets could face a “bumpy ride” if investment in renewables is not increased, the IEA said.

AFP

World’s Carbon Emissions On The Rise Again – IEA

This FILE PHOTO shows waste from the 400,000 tons “Dollemard” garbage dump on the beach of Sainte-Adresse, northwestern France.
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

 

Harmful carbon emissions from energy rose in 2017 for the first time in three years, the International Energy Agency said Thursday, proof that the world’s efforts to fight climate change are falling short.

Strong economic growth pushed global energy demand up by 2.1 percent last year, the Paris-based IEA said in a report.

Some 70 percent of those additional needs were met by fossil fuels oil, gas and coal, pushing global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions up by 1.4 percent, after three years of remaining flat.

The rest was covered mostly by renewables.

“The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.

“For example, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency as policy makers have put less focus in this area,” he said.

But the overall increase in CO2 emissions masked major improvements in some individual countries, including the United States, a big polluter.

In fact, the US saw the biggest drop in emissions, helped by a higher deployment of renewables.

Emissions also declined in Britain, Mexico and Japan, the IEA said.

The 29-nation IEA provides analysis on global energy markets and advocates policies enhancing the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy.

AFP

Igbo Excellence Awards Berths In Lagos

Igbo indigenes in Nigeria and overseas are welcoming the entry of the Igbo Excellence Awards, IEA, an annual cultural and social contemporary event, which will berth on Saturday, 1 February, 2014.

With developing the culture and people as a key value, IEA according to the organisers will celebrate and honour Igbo individuals, businesses, and corporate organisations with outstanding contributions towards sustaining and developing the essence, pride and image of the Igbo culture as well as the country Nigeria across the world.

The award initiator, Prince Onyekachukwu David, said: “our vision for the IEA is to be a global brand recognized for its genuine commitment to promoting the socio-economic and cultural values of Ndi Igbo through-out the world. We are poised to drive this vision to accomplishment by focusing a lot on the Igbo youths, with awards categories that allow young people to compete fairly for exposure and recognition.”

According to the organizers, Tobems Media Limited, the maiden edition of the awards ceremony will hold in Lagos. They claimed that the choice of a neutral venue is to emphasize the credibility of the awards and its determination to reach out to all Ndi Igbo simultaneously irrespective of their states, cultural, and political differences. They assured that subsequent editions will be hosted in different eastern states of the federation.

“We believe that starting with a successful execution of this forthcoming maiden edition, we would have started a journey towards accomplishing our vision within the next 5 years.” David said.

According to Tobems Media’s Principal Consultant, Mr. Obembe, “Ours is made up of a team of young Nigerians who have dedicated time and energy in research and consultation with Igbo elders and culture custodians to design the awards.

“We are glad to give Ndi Igbo something that will last a lifetime. This is more than just an award, it is a validation for our true heroes, and being a winner in any category is something to cherish”.

The #IgboExcellenceAwards which was formally presented to the Nigerian online community on Tuesday, December 3, is already generating heavy buzz and trending on social media as it was well received by many, especially the Igbo ethnic group from South-Eastern Nigeria.