Dr. Subhes Bhattacharyya

UK lecturer: Governments and NGO can't be leader for renewable industry in Africa. Private sector is needed.

Dr. Subhes Bhattacharyya, Senior Lecturer in Energy/ Petroleum Economics at University of Dundee in the UK says that special Subsaharian Africa has a high potential in terms of renewable energies, but the areas where off-grid may prosper are those where the institutional arrangements are in place: "Except a handful of successful cases, the outcome of donor agencies’ pilot projects and experimental programmes has not been greatly positive and has not been sustained. This suggests that perhaps donor-supported programmes per se cannot solve the problem. Also, most of the programmes are focusing on inappropriate technologies which are either inadequate or less acceptable to the local population and the supply chain is not well established, making the replication and sustainability of the experiments difficult."

And he continues: "I’m not saying that the private sector is the only option - but the sector that knows how to initiate projects and drive them efficiently is the private sector. You want to have the government involved but not leading it. The government tends to be a bit slower, less efficient in making those things happen, regardless of where the government is. It’s not easy to build those projects - there are supply issues, there are regulation issues, there are workforce issues, there are specific issues with climate and the place. Now dealing with complexities, again, the private sector is much better, in overcoming them, in building them, in seeing it through." 

Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.com