African governments must do more to help their clean energy sectors, according to a new study.

Covid-19 rescue measures such as delaying electricity bill payments pile added pressure onto energy companies already hit by pandemic-related falls in demand in a continent which a new study suggests is too dependent on donor aid for the development of renewables.

The majority of African governments are not doing enough to drive renewables deployment and strengthen their clean energy sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 energy sector response in Africa: A review of preliminary government interventions study by the Pan African University, said only Kenya, Nigeria and Burkina Faso had demonstrated real commitment to renewables during the ongoing public health crisis.

Research co-author Mark McCarthy Akrofi said several nations had provided economic stimulus packages to cushion the effects of the spread of coronavirus, including moves by governments such as those of Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Ghana to pay or delay the energy bills of power consumers. Rescue measures such as delaying bill payment, however, apply further economic constraints to energy companies already suffering from the kind of slumps in demand witnessed worldwide.

With construction projects stalled by the pandemic, Akrofi, Sarpong Hammond Antwi and their co-authors highlighted a lack of national strategies to get the African energy sector – including clean energy – back on its feet.

The report, produced by the Algeria-based Institute of Water and Energy Sciences school of the continent-wide university, claimed African governments have been too dependent on donor aid to drive solar and wind power deployment and recommended policy makers invest in their own clean energy sectors.

The Pan African University study considered sources including publications by the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.


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