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Can South Africa provide energy for all? 

South Africa produces half of sub-Saharan Africa’s energy and ranks highest on the continent for energy access.

Still, 60 percent of rural South Africans don’t have access to the electricity grid, and many more are considered “energy poor.”

A new report from ImpactAmplifier, a business accelerator in Cape Town, shows how far South Africa still has to go.

The country has no sizeable biogas businesses. Solar-home systems have not been successfully marketed, as they have been in Kenya and Tanzania. Two of three mini-grid installations have failed.

ImpactAmplifier’s Tanner Methvin told ImpactAlpha South Africa’s eco-entrepreneurs remain disconnected from the communities they might serve.

Still, the report concludes, “More than any other Sub-African country, South Africa is both the closest and has the greatest potential to provide universal access to affordable energy.”

Photo credit: SunFire

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