Zandre Campos, Chairman and CEO of international investment firm ABO Capital, discusses Angola’s renewable energy revolution.
As a renewable energy revolution takes place across the world, Angola is seeking an intervention to boost its own efforts, which is a great step for the country in several ways.
Energy is perhaps one of the most important aspects of our everyday lives, not just for convenience, but for our economic growth. It is a necessity for producing goods and services in factories, farming and agriculture, space heating, operating stores, hotels, and restaurants, and more. Renewable energy systems mean reduced climate-changing emissions in the long run, more access to electricity for thousands of Angolan residents, potentially less dependency on crude oil exports, and a further diversified energy supply. While Africa’s infrastructure is not as strong as it should be, investors are seeing the benefits of propelling Angola forward in the clean energy space.
In the last year alone, Angola’s government leaders have expressed a long-term development strategy for expanding electricity access to 60% of the population by 2025, with an expected 70% of electricity to be derived from renewable sources.
Angola’s Renewable Energy Strategy, formally approved in 2015, aims to increase universal access to energy services, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy. There has been progress, in that the African Development Bank Group just recently approved an equity investment of up to $25 million in the Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF), a $250 million private equity fund for renewable energy projects across Sub-Saharan Africa. ARPF is said to focus on wind, solar PV, small to medium hydro and geothermal and biomass technologies.
Not only will this project be beneficial from an environmental standpoint, but it’s also expected to create more than 270 full-time jobs and more than 5,300 part-time jobs in Africa.
Another opportunity that we see for Angola pertaining to renewable energy is continued hydropower development, an affordable, reliable and sustainable source of energy. Angola has hydropower plants along the Kwanza River, including one of the largest, called Laúca, which created more than 13,000 direct jobs last year. Angola’s hydro plants have the potential for upgrades, which help to provide even more power to Angola residents. According to the International Hydropower Association, hydropower is expected to remain the world’s largest source of renewable electricity for years to come, with significant untapped potential. Investors should keep an eye on this sector as it continues to grow and simultaneously contributes to Angola’s economic development.
Investments in Angola’s renewable energy sector are a positive complement to developments across technology, agriculture, and oil. There has been a lot of progress in Angola’s 2025 infrastructure plan, but there are still areas that need to be addressed, such as established a larger import or export capability for electricity like dispatch centers and developments of new transmission infrastructure. Increased power production capabilities will have significant long-term effects for Angola and for Africa as a whole, so it is critical that we keep renewable energy at the top of mind.