Energy for Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Luis Alves


The African continent is witnessing unprecedented and sustained growth, and its economies are currently witnessing average rates of around 4% per year. Six of the global ten fastest growing economies over the past decade are located in sub-Saharan Africa. If this growth rate is steadily maintained, sub-Saharan African GDP could increase three times by 2030 and seven times by 2050. However, to sustain such economic and social growth, a much larger and better performing energy sector is required. African population will be doubled in 2050, reaching two billion people. About 40% of this population will be living in the rural areas. Sub-Sahraran Africa is the world's region with the highest energy poverty rates.The region, with a population of more than 950 million, is the most electricity-poor in the world, since aroun two thirds of its population has no access to electricity services, or are connected to unreliable energy networks. On the other side, Sub-Saharan Africa have enormous renewable energy potential with some of the largest concentration of alternative energya resources of the world, in the form of solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy. But only a small portion of these huge resources are currently used to satisfy electricity needs in the continent. The exploitation of renewable energies can lead to sociocultural, economic and environmental benefits, reducing the energy divide to achieve sustaibale development of Sub-Saharan Africa's societies.


Sub-Saharan Africa Energy use Energy transition Renewable energies Resource potential Future challenges 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Alves
    • 1
  1. 1.DREAMS – Interdisciplinary Center for Development and Research in Environment, Applied Management and Space, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity Lusophone of Humanities and TechnologiesLisbonPortugal

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