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Mechanical Engineering
Osama Khayal


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Compared to the rest of the world, there is a general shortage of energy related information in Africa (on potential of energy resources, actual installed systems and current energy use). This lack of information is even more apparent for renewable energies. It is indeed difficult to compare the potentialities for the different energy options due to the scattered validated information. Nevertheless, available data sources are in agreement in describing a difficult situation as far as access to energy is concerned.

The high share of rural population, coupled with the low ability and willingness to pay, the low per capita energy consumption and the high rate of non-electrified rural areas, has traditionally pushed rural communities to make use of locally available energy sources, mostly biomass from agriculture residues and forest ad savannah wood for their daily cooking and heating needs.

Renewable energy resources are diffuse in the territory and mapping their physical availability can only be the first step in understanding their exploitation especially for people without modern  forms of energy in Africa. A deep knowledge of the existing and feasible energy infrastructures is

fundamental for moving towards the assessment of the economically utilizable renewable energy.

Indeed, according to IEA data, 99.6% of the African population without electricity access is concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, reflecting the great disparities in the different

African regions caused also by the still unbalanced development of the energy production and transport infrastructures in the continent.

In summary, if properly exploited, renewable energies are a big opportunity for improving the currently very poor access to energy for rural communities.


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