Masdar and PwC Middle East have partnered to highlight the renewable energy potential of West Africa and the necessary reforms to increase private sector investment, with the new report “Accelerating Renewable Energy Investment in West Africa”.
The report reaffirms the importance of advancing the renewable energy transition in West Africa to ensure adequate and affordable access to clean electricity and encourages policymakers to realize the investment required for the energy transition in the region. Key findings from the report:
- West Africa has an unexploited renewable capacity potential of 2,000GW.
- West Africa’s energy sector demands renewal and decarbonization.
- Pro-investment policy coupled with renewable energy technologies could transform the sector and meet urgent social and economic needs.
- Sovereign wealth funds could play a big part in driving investment to the region's renewable energy sector.
Despite West Africa’s potential renewable capacity, the region has one of the lowest electrification rates, according to a 2023 World Bank report. Approximately 220 million people in the region live without access to power, coupled with some of the highest electricity costs in sub-Saharan Africa.
The report highlights that addressing this paradox is essential for unlocking social and economic growth in West Africa, introducing ways to decouple market risks from regional risks, enabling major funding stakeholders to play a role in closing the energy access gap. As the demand for energy services in Africa grows rapidly with rising population levels, addressing existing barriers to clean energy investment and promoting capital deployment across the continent is urgently needed. This will increase affordability and bridge the energy gap, stimulating economic growth.