Inadequate power supply in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) means that only 37 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans have access to electricity. Those with access are prone to experience problems with regular power outages. In many sub- SSA countries, electricity access rates are decreasing because electrification efforts are slower than population growth.

The vast potential of renewable energy is failing to be realised in many African countries, in spite of the many pledges made by donors and international financiers. This is not due to a lack of policies supporting investment.

There is growing international focus on how to support more integrated approaches to addressing climate change in ways that capture synergies and minimise the trade-offs between climate change mitigation, adaptation and development. These aims are embodied in the concept of climate compatible development (CCD).

Developing countries are experiencing unprecedented levels of economic growth. As a result, they will be responsible for most of the future growth in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. The development, transfer and use of renewable energy technologies are promising ways towards low-carbon development in these countries.