|The power supply in the West Africa is seriously insufficient, and people with access to electricity are less than 50%. However, renewable energy sources in the said region are rich, and many countries are endeavoring to develop such clean energies, such as hydro energy, wind energy and solar energy.
The website www.cifnews.com learnt from a report of Vanguard News of Nigeria on September 1: according to the investigation report issued by the African Development Bank, 57% of people in West Africa are without access to electricity. This percentage approximates that in Sub-Saharan Africa, but is much higher than that in common developing countries. The percentage is 23% in development countries and around 18% in the whole world. In comparison, we may find that the shortage of power supply in West Africa is so severe. Energy problem is still a problem which the governments in West Africa need to solve at the policy level.
Even in West Africa, the percentages of people with access to electricity vary from country to country. The percentage of people with access to electricity in Brukina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone is 15%; that in Ghana is 70%; and, that in Cape Verde is 87%. Besides, there are noticeable disparities in access to electricity between rural areas and urban centers, with urban dwellers having more access than rural people. The phenomenon of power supply inequality is especially obvious in Ghana. According to the bank, the trend is more glaring in Ghana where 87% urban dwellers have access to electricity, compared with 5% in rural areas.
However, the renewable energy sources in West Africa are rich, including undeveloped modern biomass, hydropower, solar energy and wind energy. Full use of such sources will help to expand access while reducing reliance on traditional power supply fuels, environment pollution, and especially the carbon emission incurring greenhouse effect. Hydropower in West Africa has an estimated potential of 250,000,000 megawatts, yet only 16% has been exploited.
In addition, the report also indicates that the power supply situation in Nigeria is better a little rather than greatly. Now, the percentage of people with access to electricity in Nigeria is about 50%, 7% higher than other West African countries. Besides, Nigeria also has found domestic natural petroleum resources, and has realized that the power supply by burning coal resources causes serious pollution. Therefore, the current coal output decreases and the percentage of power supply by coal also declines in Nigeria. The government of Nigeria is making efforts to develop other cleaner energies such as water energy to replace coal energy.
Source: www.cifnews.com By Lin Quansheng