20 February 2013

Africa Urged to Develop Energy Policy Frameworks

Photo: IRIN
Firms with links to China are said to be more profitable, according to a new research (file photo).

As energy poverty and economic growth issues remain major concerns in Africa, Chinese and Indian investments in the continent's power industry will play a key role in addressing Africa energy security, the World Energy Council (WEC) said on Tuesday.

In a new report released at the Africa Energy Indaba in Johannesburg titled, "2013 World Energy Issues Monitor," WEC said adequate energy policy frameworks capable of attracting investments in power sector is crucial in Africa.

The report said global recession and energy poverty are equally affecting Africa electricity demand and has tightened energy security across the continent.

"With economic cooperation with China and India intensifying, more exploration activities in a number of countries particularly in Southern Africa, West and Central Africa are turning out positive and have unveiled huge potential of hydrocarborn prospects and new potential markets," said the report.

Opening the conference under a theme, "Securing Tomorrow's Energy Today," South Africa Energy Minister Dipuo Peters called for more investment in the Africa energy sector as "huge resource continue to be discovered" in the continent.

Demand to double

The minister said Pretoria remains committed to developing Africa energy through investing in energy and infrastructure sectors.

"We all saw that infrastructure development was centre on President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address last week. We remain firmly committed to developing Africa through investing in energy and infrastructure development," Peters told more than 300 delegates.

WEC said even with improvements in the energy efficiency, it expects global energy demand to double by 2050. This is the inevitable consequence of global population growth, global economic growth, continued urbanisation as well as the resulting increased demand on mobility and energy dependent.

The report indicated that the global energy sector will need to invest half of current world GDP over the next two decades in order to address global energy challenges and expand transform and adapt the energy infrastructure.

The WEC said it supports policymakers around the world in their effort to develop adequate energy policy frameworks capable of attracting the needed investments and balancing between the conflicting objectives.


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