A map of Africa showing its photovoltaic solar electricity potential [kWh/m²] and comparison of costs between diesel and photovoltaic electricity generation.
Screening Africa's renewable energies potential
The JRC has published a study mapping the potential of renewable energy sources in Africa. The report analyses the continent's current energy consumption and assesses potential of renewable energy sources - solar, wind, biomass and hydropower - and their cost efficiency and environmental sustainability.
The map of Africa's solar electricity potential, for example, 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, in order to assess the suitability of solar energy to provide electricity in rural areas, this option has to be assessed against costs for grid extensions and with the traditional diesel generators.
The report carries out an analysis of the costs and benefits of each technology, with varying results depending on the area of the continent.
The publication of the report coincides with the official European Launch of UN Year on "Sustainable Energy for All" held in Brussels on 8 February.