The JRC has published a study that maps the potential of renewable energy sources in Africa. The report, co-authored by the IES and the Institute for Energy and Transport, analyses the continent's current energy consumption and assesses the potential, cost efficiency and environmental sustainability of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomass and hydropower).
The report carries out an cost-benefit analysis of using new technology compared to existing energy costs, with varying results depending on the area of the continent.
For example, the map of Africa's solar electricity potential, based on the JRC's Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS), shows that in many parts of Africa the same photovoltaic panel could produce twice as much electricity as it would produce in Central Europe. However, the suitability of using solar energy to provide electricity in rural areas has to be assessed against costs associated with grid extensions compared to the traditional diesel generators.
The publication of the report coincides with the official European launch of the United Nations' Year on "Sustainable Energy for All", which was held in Brussels on 8 February.
See also the JRC Headline - Screening Africa's renewable energies potential