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Renewables in Africa - Meeting the Energy Needs of the Poor

Stephen Karekezi



This paper presents estimates of renewables energy technologies disseminated in sub-Sahara Africa and evaluates the potential of renewables in meeting the energy needs of Africa’s poor. Using data mainly from eastern and southern Africa, the paper examines five major renewable energy technologies, namely: (i) large-scale biomass energy; (ii) small scale biomass energy (iii) solar photovoltaic; (iv) solar thermal; and, (v) wind. It then evaluates how suitable each renewable energy technology is to meeting the energy needs of the urban and rural poor. The paper ends with key measures that could encourage the large-scale dissemination of renewable energy technologies to the poor in Africa.

Keywords: Renewable energy technologies, Africa, poor



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