Humanising energy at the Africa Energy Indaba 2021
The World Energy Council is proud to have once again been a Strategic Partner of the Africa Energy Indaba. This year’s event reflected well the issues affecting African energy today as we work to humanise energy and ensure equitable access to affordable and secure energy supply for all. We know that this requires innovative thinking that will drive investment to deliver much needed energy infrastructure. Our collective focus can no longer stay on theory but rather on the practical implementation of human-centred solutions.
The pandemic has revealed the growing unevenness in energy access within and between countries. Tremendous imbalances exist in energy choices across geographies and societies about who actually receives enough useful energy, and the price society pays for changing or failing to change their whole energy systems.
Humanising energy is key to the future of Africa and humanity. Creating healthy energy societies cannot be done without new investment, without using all technologies and innovation, or simply by leaving it to either the market or state to lead.
Energy is a bigger story than carbon and the ‘race to zero’. It is not enough to focus on the push of technology and the speed of capital markets or on closing basic access gaps. We need to start with the human race. We need to enable Africa to translate its visions of better lives and a healthy planet into reality.
The good news is that there are multiple transition pathways underway in multiple geographies. There will be no single winner in the race to zero! The tough truth is that the world is not doing enough to ensure everyone in Africa will get across to the prosperity line - energy for lighting, livelihoods and luxuries.
As a world energy community, we can help to achieve more by engaging with the pull of connected energy societies, addressing new winners and losers, and redirecting attention to new and shifting dynamics in energy demand and use. We need to help the world prepare for the customer centric energy future and enable and amplify the voices of African energy customers.