January 24, 2017 - Ethiopia is the 5th largest investor in renewable energy at USD 100 million, according to the Renewable, Global Status Report, according to Capital. South Africa leads in renewable energy investment followed by Morocco, the second largest renewable energy investor at USD two billion. Kenya comes to third with investments worth USD 357 million and Uganda at USD 134 million is fourth.
Ethiopia has over half a million solar lighting systems and over four million installed clean cooking stoves, making the country among the top five in Africa when it comes to using these technologies, according to the report.
Many African countries have increased their policy commitments in the power sector during 2015 and that has continued with all renewable power generating technologies being deployed across the continent.
The report further states that the largest markets for off-grid solar products has been Sub-Saharan Africa with 1.37 million units sold in the region followed by South East Asia with 1.28 million units sold. When it comes to global trends, data shows investment in renewable energy has increased to record highs in spite of plunging fossil fuel prices, the strength of the US dollar, which reduced the dollar value of non-dollar investments, and the continued weakness of the European economy. For the sixth consecutive year, renewable energy outpaced fossil fuels for net investment in power capacity additions.
Estimates so far indicate that ‘green energy’ has created 8.1 million direct and indirect jobs. The report shows that solar and bio-fuels provided the largest numbers of renewable energy jobs. Large-scale hydropower accounted for an additional 1.3 million direct jobs. Considering all renewable energy technologies, the leading employers in 2015 were China, Brazil, the United States and India.
Renewable energy sources are now established around the world as mainstream sources of energy, the report states. Rapid growth, particularly in the power sector, is being driven by several factors, including the improving cost-competiveness of renewable technologies, dedicated policy initiatives, better access to financing, energy security and environmental concerns, growing demand for energy in developing and emerging economies, and the need for access to modern energy. Consequently, new markets for both centralized and distributed renewable energy are emerging in all regions. (Capital)