Without mincing words, the poor power supply has been a terrible cankerworm eating deep into the fabrics of Africa as a continent.
It is expected that a continent ranking in the top ten list of crude oil production will have a very comfortable state of living.
Is it still news that an average African man carries his charger around, looking for the nearest opportunity to charge his appliances? Is it still news that an average African Child dances around at the sight of electricity? What does that depict, the Power system has not served us properly.
This alone shows why there is a great record of poverty and hunger in Africa. Or is there any magic wand that will make Africa rich and prosperous even as we have an epileptic power supply? I am not here to lament, I am only here to draw our minds back on what have been, and lead us into a journey of what should be.
THE CURRENT STATE OF AFRICA AND PROBLEMS CAUSED BY LACK OF POWER SUPPLY
The major challenges we face in Africa are poverty which leads to hunger, unemployment, and mismanagement. Now I know you will be asking what this has to do with the power issue I presented.
But I will categorically tell you that it has everything to do with it. Over the years, the major source of power supply in Africa is through the use of non-renewable energy resources, like coal and crude oil. Not minding the fact that this has sustained us, it has also caused us harm.
Because of the lack of proper power supply, and the large expenses associated with the model of energy Africa is practicing. So many underdeveloped countries cannot harness the potentials in Agriculture. How far will the manual method of practicing agriculture take them?
Agriculture is a major way in which many countries survive. But this agriculture is most times limited because of the harm renewable energy cause in the ecosystem. The most common of them all is oil spillage which is mostly due to mismanagement and most times due to unforeseen circumstances.
THE IDEA BEHIND THIS ARTICLE IS TO OPEN OUR TOWARDS INVESTING IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AS ITS A SOLUTION TO PROBLEM
We have heard so much of oil spillage. Do I need to tell you the consequences of oil spillage? Oil spillage causes so much harm and damage to our aquatic animals especially fishes. When this is the case, what is the hope of the fishermen who has fishing as the major source of their income? Also, what is the fate of the aquatic ecosystem?
Using Nigeria as a case study, oil spillage has caused great damages to our farm produce. Often lands that are affected don’t get to produce enough seeds? The ultimate result of this is hunger, poverty, and a decline in the nation’s GDP.
Moreover, how can I explain that some developing countries in Africa do not have access to even this electricity generated from non-renewable sources? How can I explain that even in developed countries, only those in the middle class and upper class can access the electrical grid?
Is that not a clear indication, that there is a limit to where non-renewable energy resources can go?
OTHER MAJOR PROBLEMS CAUSED BY POOR POWER SUPPLY
We are not done with the problems Africa faces due to poor power supply. One very disturbing one is air pollution. It is no longer news that Africa has been turned to a dumping ground for different kinds of generators.
Because most African countries’ power sector can barely generate constant power supply, this is our only alternative. What of the terrible health implications the smoke from these generators cause? Fumes from generators contain carbon monoxide which is toxic to health yet every day, millions of homes put on their generators inhaling these fumes.
Another disturbing aspect of this poor power supply is that it has lead to an increase in the number of death in our various hospitals. It is no longer news that most patients die because there is no power to carry out major operations.
THIS POWER SUPPLY CRISIS AFFECTS ALL SECTORS
Even the education sector is not left out in this mess. Africa is still very much into manual learning. We cannot even think of adopting the E-learning method now because there is no light to power our gadgets. Or should I now say of the numerous times students are denied access to practical and laboratory rooms because of a poor power supply?
Most of them all are corruption. Because of how non-renewable energy runs, it is very easy for politicians and people in charge of the power sector to amass wealth. It has become an avenue for money generation.
The heartbreaking aspect of it all is that most of the major countries we export oil to, are no longer very much interested. The pandemic hit makes matters worst as oil price continues to decline to the barest minimum.
Am I the only one sensing the great danger looming ahead? Have we stopped to ask ourselves why oil that seemed to be a major source of power supply suddenly lost its value?
Okay, in case you asked that question and got no answer, here is the answer – “It is majorly because most of the developing countries have gone out of the era of seeing non-renewable energy resources as their ultimate savior”. The new deal is Renewable energy resources. Yes, I said that. Let’s not panic too much, there is hope.
Now, stick with me here let’s have more discourse on how we can be saved from the power issue.
THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEM IS CLEAN ENERGY RESOURCES
When I say clean energy resources, I am talking about renewable energy resources. Are you aware that Africa asides crude oil is also one of the continents that have great access to renewable energy sources?
We are blessed with abundant sunlight, we have water, the wind is practically everywhere. I mentioned them because this is the basis of renewable energy resources.
HOW CAN THE VARIOUS RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES SAVE US?
Solar is the easiest renewable energy source that can go so far to save even the most underdeveloped countries.
Instead of pouring the limited resources, we have into fossil fuels. What if the government convert that money and provide as many solar panels as possible to various regions?
What prevents individuals in the middle and upper class from installing solar panels in their homes. So that the government will use the non-renewable energy to focus on the lower class citizens that can’t afford solar?
Now you will ask, what happens when climate changes and there is no much sun. My answer is, then we will be sustained by the solar storage bank. Because each complete home solar system comes with a big battery back up. I am glad we all know that the times in the year we have abundant sunlight in Africa, is greater than the times we don’t have it.
The goal is to reduce the way we heat the ecosystem and to provide a more sustainable source of power supply.
What is the use of only receiving fresh air, and expecting heavy rain when the day becomes windy when we can use it to generate electricity?.
As I leave you to ponder, I will tell you that with the use of turbines, we can convert wind into electricity, yes it is possible. When these turbines in question spin, they generate electricity.
Now, this may not be used for house consumption. It is normally used for large scale businesses. If all the big organizations that produce different things, make use of this wind energy, and invest in a one-time installation, the cases of low energy for production will be reduced to the barest minimum.
Prices of goods and services will be reduced because you are no more burning money trying to purchase fossil fuels or gas. There will be more spaces for employment as there will be enough to power to provide more services.
I am very sure that the goal is to provide a better Africa, so I don’t see the reason why any organization that can afford this won’t go for it.
Do you know that apart from domestic use and transportation, water can help us generate electricity? With the use of turbines, we can generate energy from water.
See, the thing is that all the natural resources Africa is blessed with are capable of saving us from our power crisis.
Geothermal energy and biomass are also other sources of renewable energy sources.
WHY WE SHOULD ALL EMBRACE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES
As I mentioned earlier, it is highly a clean energy source. It does not have any single effect on the ecosystem. Asides geothermal energy which can lead to earthquakes when not properly managed, it is completely harmless.
It saves cost as it only needs a one-time installation.
It is very much accessible as these natural resources are not bought.
As we are all hoping for the government to embrace this fully. We can start from our various homes and companies to implement this, and save ourselves from further harm.
In as much we are currently facing a power crisis, which is in turn affecting various sectors of our economy. We are delighted by the fact that there is hope for change and improvement.
Why should we remain in the dark while others are moving forward to embrace the innovative idea of the solar power system especially?
The big countries like the United States and China that are making use of this renewable energy are not better than us, we are even more endowed naturally. So it is only a matter of careful planning for us to get there and save ourselves.
It is also worthy of note that so many big countries in Africa are already using this renewable energy as an alternative that is why you will find. Noor concentrated solar power plant In Morocco, Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya, and Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.
ESI, Africa’s Power Journal reported Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Ghana as Africa’s fastest-growing markets and so far, it has led to an upscale in their industrial and commercial sector.
Thus, other African countries should learn from them as they are already setting the pace. We will keep looking forward to a great and better Africa.