Current global population is estimated at 7.5 billion with 1.25 billion living in developed countries and 6.25 billion in less developed countries. Africa’s population is approximated at 1.25 billion with 1.02 billion in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, an estimated 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity and 3 billion rely on solid fuels for cooking and space heating. Two thirds of those lacking access to electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas only about 16% of those in sub-Saharan Africa use modern energy forms as the primary cooking fuel. Lack of access to electricity has adverse socio-economic effects, while heavy reliance on solid fuels has negative socio-economic, health, and environmental impacts. Several initiatives are being undertaken to mitigate the situation; notable are future aspirations for universal access to clean and modern energy expressed in the 2030 sustainable development goals (goal number 7), 2063 African Union Commission Agenda, Paris Agreement, and the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4A). This chapter discusses the past and present energy situation and presents possible scenarios for a sustainable energy future in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on Southern Africa.
Part of the book: Energy Management for Sustainable Development