IAE 2024: The Role of Clean Cooking Investments in Africa’s Growth Story

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An exclusive one-on-one conversation at IAE 2024 – organized by Energy Capital & Power – examined how financing solutions can support the scale-up of clean cooking solutions in sub-Saharan Africa

During an in-conversation discussion at this year’s Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 Forum in Paris on May 15, Partner and Co-Investment Director at Spark+ Africa Fund, Peter George, and Senior Research Analyst at Energy Intelligence Amena Bakr, explored how investments in innovative technologies for clean cooking on the African continent are poised to transform communities across the continent.

“From a market opportunity standpoint, $20-40 billion a year is spent in African markets on cooking fuel, which is a huge market for the LPG industry, for electrification to enable the uptake of electric cooking stoves and fertilizer that can increase crop yields for farmers,” George stated, adding, “There are all these different ways to address this energy access gap and a lot of market opportunities.”

It was noted during the exclusive one-on-one conversation that clean cooking is poised to save at least 200 million hectares of forests globally by 2030. Clean cooking will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.9 gigatons of CO2 emissions equivalent per year, roughly equal to all emissions from airplanes and ships today.

“Clean cooking is thought to touch on 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” George said, stating, “If you look at the cost from the standpoint of deforestation and lost productivity, there are all sorts of ways in which you can quantify people lacking access to modern infrastructure. This cost is something like $2.4 trillion – in Africa, the cost is about $800 million.”

According to George, by taking concessional investment from the public sector, local and international companies can leverage private capital from more commercially oriented investors who seek higher-return profiles in Africa’s developing market.

“Affordability is key, especially when it comes to Africa,” stated Bakr.

A partnership between the African Refiners and Distributors Association and the Global LPG Partnership to mobilize $1 billion in funding for clean energy solutions was announced during the IAE 2024 summit’s first day. The fund will aim to make the funds available to promote a sustainable transition to cleaner fuels for cooking.

SOURCE: Energy Capital & Power