Global tech powerhouse Huawei plans to introduce digital power innovation to help more people access energy in Africa.
The company plans to harness the power of cloud, AI, and other digital technologies to improve power generation, storage and consumption across the continent.
“We are ready and willing to provide our full support for building a green Africa and bridging the energy gap driven by digital technologies,” said Huang Su, Director of Huawei Southern Africa Digital Power Business.
According to the International Energy Agency, nearly 580 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa—about a quarter of the global total—lacked access to electricity in 2019.
Renewable energy is expected to contribute about 22 per cent of Africa’s total energy consumption by 2030. At the same time, the continent is richly endowed with renewable energy sources.
These statistics suggest an urgent need to accelerate the growth of renewable energy across the region to ensure sufficient, affordable, reliable energy supply for individuals, businesses, and communities.
“There is still a massive gap to be bridged. However, the traditional energy infrastructure operation mode cannot meet the new challenges brought by the latest development in the digital world,” added Huawei’s Huang Su.
Digital and intelligent technologies can be of great help to ensure we provide sufficient electricity to every African household and business, he noted.
Huang pointed out that renewable energy is much cheaper than fossil-fuel-based options, with a kilowatt-hour of solar power costing less than a Rand (Kes 7.30) in South Africa.
The cost of PV power generation has dropped sharply over the past decade. In most countries, traditional energy grids cost a lot more than PV electricity.
This offers Africa an opportunity to harness its abundant potential of increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy to meet the growing demand for electricity and pursue a climate-friendly, needs-oriented power strategy.
Huawei’s smart PV solution has been deployed in more than 60 countries and regions and has generated more than 300 billion kWH of green electricity, powering millions of residents and hundreds of industries globally.
Huang said Huawei will innovate and enable renewable energy to empower each individual, home, and organization.
“Huawei is already a household name in the ICT world,” Huang says. “All ICT requires power supply and Huawei has always provided that to one degree or another. Our efforts in the solar PV space are simply an extension of that. As we are good at Bits, so we basically try to add Bit streams on the top of Watt streams, and use bits to manage the Watt,” Huang says.
Huang added that “over time, Huawei will deploy more and more scalable power stations. These power stations can be managed and maintained online, further reducing their carbon footprint,” he concluded that “we are uniquely positioned to bring electricity, power supply, and data management together. The journey from bits to watts is accelerating and we plan on leading it.”