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Renewable energy needs guarantees for investors

The slow pace with which renewable energy projects have been rolled out across Africa may prove to be an advantage in a few years. As they catch up, African countries could benefit from technological developments and falling costs of wind and solar power.

Norman Ndaba, Power and Utilities Sector Leader at global financial advisory firm Ernst & Young, says telecommunications developments in Africa may be an indicator of how renewable energy will evolve. In the 1980s and early 1990s fixed-line telephony was prohibitively expensive to establish in most African countries outside SA. Then cellular technology developed rapidly and cellular phones became widely accessible in Africa.

“Let’s hope developments in renewable energy technology will also bring the costs down so we can leapfrog the technological divide,” Ndaba says.

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