At the Africa Climate Summit 2023 held in Nairobi from September 4-6, energy efficiency was highlighted as a cost-effective solution to expand energy access across the continent. During a high-level event on energy efficiency, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Dr Amani Abou-zeid highlighted that energy efficiency is the cleanest form of energy available.
Commissioner Abou-Zeid noted that transmission losses due to inadequate energy infrastructure are a major contributor to the electricity access deficit in Africa. By preventing the waste caused by transmission losses through improved efficiency, existing energy resources can be optimized to considerably increase access. The Commissioner called for a holistic approach where energy is integrated with broader infrastructure and digitization strategies.
While expanding energy access remains a top priority, boosting energy efficiency can help address this deficit by preventing transmission losses through improved infrastructure. The Commissioner argued that more efficiently utilizing existing energy resources through transmission upgrades could significantly increase the number of people and communities connected to power networks.
Three major issues were highlighted in the Commissioner's remarks. First, adopting an integrated strategy recognizes the close links between energy, infrastructure development and new technologies. Second, reliable data collection and analysis are needed to make evidence-based decisions on optimizing current energy usage. Third, a regional cooperative approach can help pool resources and knowledge to accelerate progress on energy efficiency across borders.
The High-level discussions emphasized that increased energy efficiency must be a core component of Africa's sustainable development and climate action plans going forward Africa takes an important step toward delivering universal access to affordable and reliable energy for both urban and rural populations. Increased efficiency of energy production, distribution and consumption is a win-win that boosts development while mitigating climate change impacts.