Financing renewable energy in Africa – Key challenge of the sustainable development goals

Elsevier, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 75, August 2017, Pages 393–401
Gregor Schwerhoff, Mouhamadou Sy


Given the challenge of offering a development perspective to a rapidly growing population, it might be tempting for Africa to pursue a strategy of fueling growth with the cheapest source of energy available and take care of the environment later. Such an approach, however, would disregard the social cost of fossil fuels, which the population would have to bear. Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a benchmark for inclusive and sustainable growth we identify the synergy effects provided by renewable energy. Already, substantial efforts of financing the additional cost of RE are under way. An analysis of possible leverage points, available instruments and involved actors shows that there remains a large additional potential.


  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Climate finance
  • Africa
  • Energy access