Paying Africa’s people to produce all the renewable energy they can would give the continent a huge economic boost, spurring development and the growth of democracy, researchers say, reports Alex Kirby at Climate News Network. A report by the World Future Council and others says renewable energy feed-in tariff policies (REFiTs) can unlock renewable energy development in Africa. REFiTs encourage investment in generating renewable energy – by individual home owners and communities as well as institutional investors – by guaranteeing to buy all the electricity produced from renewable sources. When tailored to local conditions, REFiT policies successfully increase the overall energy production of areas both on and off the electricity grid. Their decentralised nature, it says, provides an opportunity to empower communities and to revitalise local democracy and self-governance by allowing for alternative models of ownership and governance. The authors say REFiTs have helped to increase the use of renewable technologies worldwide, with 65 countries implementing some version of the policy by 2012. Most of the installations that have resulted are in industrialised countries, particularly in Europe, but the report says Africa still has significant untapped renewable energy potential.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
Africa’s energy ‘can drive its growth’ By Alex Kirby Climate News Network