Sunday 26 June 2022



The annual global energy consumption is estimated to be 580 million terajoules, meaning 580 million trillion joules which is approximately 13,865 million tons of oil equivalents.

There are three main reasons that compel almost all nations around the world to opt for big investments in the development and utilization of renewable energies, especially solar and wind power.

These are:

(i) soaring prices of fossil fuels, for instance, the Brent crude oil trading above US$ 100 per barrel, and natural gas at US$ 6.17 per MMBtu (Henry Hub)

 (ii) meeting goals of the Paris/UNFCCC Agreemet which  entered into force on 4 November 2016 - the main goal being to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, mimicking the pre-industrial levels

(iii) SOLAR HEAT power potential is ubiquitous on the Earth's surface  (totalling 510.1 million km²).

WIND power potential  in rift valleys and along the coastlines of oceans and seas is enormous. 

Thus, each nation has a measurable potential of these two types of renewable energies.

This assertion is based on the following facts: (a) the Sun has an are of 6.07 x 10 18 (6.07 x 10 to the power of 18) square meters, and generates 3.94 x 10 23 (3.94 x 10 to the power of 23) kW daily, out of which 80,000 x 10 12 (80,000 x 10 to the power of 12) W reaches the Earth's surface. *This is equivalent  to 10,000 times the current global energy consumption.*

(b) Oceans cover an area of 361 million square kilometres containing a volume of approximately 1.37 billion cubic kilometers of water. *The world's total wave resource has been estimated to be as much as 2 TW ( 2 terrawatts, meaning, 2 trillion watts).* Thus, our Indian Ocean with its size of 70,560,000 square kilometers has enormous tide and wave energy potential.

Consequently, these two types of renewable energies (SOLAR HEAT & WIND POWER) can provide HUMANITY with all ELECTRICITY it requires for its sustainable and carbon-free clean livelihood.

Since, SOLAR AND WIND are *renewable energies* (are not depleted during their consumption), some nations are ascending into these types of energies at full throttle.

*Some recognised examples are:*

*1. INDIA* 

REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century) reports that India with 13 GW (13,000 W) of NEW SOLAR PV capacity additions in 2021 ranked third globally.

India with 40.1 GW (40,100 MW) of total installed capacity of WIND POWER ranked fourth in the world in 2021. It was behind China, USA and Germany

*2. CHINA*

China leads the world in the development and utilization of solar and wind energies.

It has total installed capacities of 281 GW (281,000 MW) and 252 GW (252,000 MW) of WIND and SOLAR energies, respectively.

*3. KENYA*

Is also progressing well insofar as renewable energies are concerned. It has installed capacity of:

*437 MW of wind energy

*174 MW of solar energy

*863 MW of geothermal energy


In April 2022, Iran's Renewable Energy and Electricity Efficiency Organization (SATBA)  pre-selected 85 developers for the final phase of a tender for 4 GW (4,000 MW) of Solar PV capacity.

AFRICA has two advantages within the renewable energies domain. These are:

*it has enormous renewable energy resources (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal)

*it has enormous mineral resources required to develep and utilize the renewable energies (e.g. metals for wind turbines and solar panels).

Contribution by:

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo

*Former Chair of the Science Programme Committee of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (UN-IYPE)

*Former Chair of UNESCO-IUGS-IGCP Scientific Board of International Geoscience Programme

*Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (FTWAS)


Sunday, 26.6.2022

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