In his recent book, ‘How to avoid a climate disaster’, Bill Gates focuses on electricity as the first major priority to consider in his manifesto for how to tackle the climate emergency. The reliable and low-cost supply of electricity has countless benefits across the economic and social spectrum. Gates also highlights that of the 860 million people around the world who do not have reliable access to electricity, 600 million of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is a challenge that needs to be given global significance as the region is faced with incredibly difficult decisions. Firstly, it is imperative that the population be given access to the reliable, low-cost power. The benefits filter into every aspect of society and day-to-day life including education, industry, internet access, lighting, domestic appliances, water management and countless others. Reliable low-cost energy helps trigger rapid acceleration in growth, the alleviation of poverty and improvements on quality of life in almost every industrial revolution experienced globally from the UK, USA, China and beyond.