Africa needs solar revolution, says UK minister

The UK Government has pledged to play a “leading role” in making solar revolution a reality across Africa. Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York with African leaders, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government has pledged to play a “leading role” in making solar revolution a reality across Africa.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York with African leaders, investors and global businesses yesterday, International Development Minister Grant Shapps said that’s what Africa needs to end its dependency on aid.

He added the UK will help push this “critical issue up the global agenda” and transform the household solar market across Africa.

Mr Shapps said: “Across Africa, a lack of clean and reliable power is holding back an entire continent. The decreasing cost of solar panels, better and more efficient technology and the spread of simple mobile payment schemes give us a clear opportunity to solve this.

“I have seen for myself how solar energy can transform lives. People can continue their jobs or school work after the sun goes down, businesses can expand and families do not have to rely on kerosene or charcoal cookers which fill houses with poisonous fumes.”

He added governments, investors and aid agencies “have the power to tear down regulatory barriers, attract new finance and ignite a solar revolution across Africa”.

Earlier this week, the UK Government pledged to invest £5.8 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change.

It previously also proposed to reduce subsidies for solar projects in the UK.