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Professor Asante urges African governments to promote energy efficiency

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, June 19, GNA –
Professor Felix Ankomah Asante, The Director, Institute of Statistical, Social
and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, has called for the
promotion and adoption of energy initiatives at all levels of government in
Africa.

He explained that in
order to escape total environmental degradation, ecosystem breakdown and
critical climate change extreme events; energy demand in Africa needed to be
met by mix of clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and waste-to-energy
resources.

Prof Asante made the
appeal on Monday in his opening address at the International Research
Conference on the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Energy Transitions in Urban
Sub-Saharan Africa” (SETUSA 2017).

The two-day
Conference, which is being hosted by ISSER, is part of the project called
“Supporting Sub-Saharan African Municipalities with Sustainable Energy
Transitions” (SAMSET) funded by the UK Department or International Development
(DFID), the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Engineering
and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).

Over the course of the
two-days, participants would learn about empirical studies and analysis in the
general context of the drive towards sustainable energy transition in
Sub-Sahara Africa urban cities with significant focus on the three broad
sub-themes; energy efficiency strategies in Sub-Sahara Africa, energy access
strategies in urban Sub-Saharan Africa and mobility and spatial planning in urban
Sub-Sahara Africa.

The conference
therefore, seeks to provide a platform for scholars, development agencies and
practitioners to deliberate and share knowledge on sustainable energy in
Sub-Sahara Africa, to deepen their understanding on the means and strategies by
which Sub-Sahara African urban cities’ energy landscape can transition to
sustainable and environmentally friendly setting. 

Prof Asante noted that
SAMSET aims at supporting local authorities to build resilient, energy
dependent and green cities and municipalities in Sub-Sahara Africa through
capacity building and knowledge exchange.

“Africa, as we know it
today has become rapidly urbanised. About 60 per cent of all two billion people
estimated by 2050 will live in cities. It is also estimated that, urban
Sub-Sahara Africa will be responsible for about 75 per cent of the total energy
consumption by 2040,” he said.

“This has serious
implications for the capacity of our environment to continue supporting life at
optimum level taking into account the dominant source of energy, especially
electricity, in most Sub-Sahara African countries,” he added.

On the theme for the
Conference, Prof Asante said it was thoughtfully coined to pull together papers
developed out of scientific investigations; completed or ongoing projects
implementation such as SAMSET; and governmental or non-governmental programmes
that focused on understanding the state of energy demand and supply in
Sub-Sahara African urban cities and the strategies to adopt towards sustainable
energy transmission in these cities.

Prof Daniel Kebera
Irurah, Sustainable Energy Architecture, University of Witwatersrand, who
delivered the keynote address, said to ensure energy sustainability in Africa,
there was the need for the application of neuroscience for attitudinal change.

He said there was hope
for the renewable energy sector in Africa; stating that we need the technology
and policies, however, we need to work on our attitudes.

Mr Mark Louis Borchers
of SAMSET, said the SAMSET project aims at supporting six African cities in
three countries – Ghana, Uganda and South Africa – with sustainable energy
transitions.

He said urban areas
had a role to play in the sustainability of energy; adding that the future of
energy was in renewable natural resources and not in the old biomass.

Dr Xavier Lemaire,
Senior Research Associate, UCL Energy Institute, said how to reduce and manage
waste was a huge problem for most cities in West Africa.

GNA

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