NAIROBI – Kenyan President William Ruto, who took office last month, has urged Africa to turn to renewable energy, breaking ranks with his continental counterparts pushing natural gas resource development projects.
To boost renewable energy production and adapt to global warming, Africa will need finance and technology from the rich world, Ruto said in a statement published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.
Unlike many African countries, Kenya already gets 92% of its energy from renewable sources and aims to increase that figure to 100% by 2030, Ruto said, referring to the country’s geothermal, wind and solar power plants.
“We don’t need to destroy the climate to thrive,” he said.
“Rather than follow in the fossil fuel footsteps of its predecessors, we can ignore this dirty energy.”
Ruto’s call to arms comes as Senegal, Tanzania and Mozambique race to develop gas fields off their coasts and South Africa tries to develop its own fields and import the fuel fossil fuel as it grapples with energy shortages.
African leaders have repeatedly insisted in international forums that a continent that has contributed little to historic greenhouse gas emissions be allowed to develop its fossil fuel resources.
Unlike Kenya, many African countries depend on fossil fuels. South Africa depends on coal for more than 80% of its energy, Senegal generates electricity from diesel and coal, and diesel generators are widespread throughout Nigeria.
- Editor/ additional report by Moneyweb