Limited access to electricity limits Africa’s potential to achieve economic transformation, promote socio-economic inclusion, and unlock human capital growth. With limited bankable demand for electricity, Africa’s enormous renewable energy potential remains largely untapped: investment in renewable generation capacity remains limited and unused surplus capacity, in specific areas, is a further disincentive to expand generation capacity. At the same time, the world needs up to 220 gigatonnes of high-durability carbon removal between now and 2050, resulting in 5 – 16 gigatonnes of removal annually by 2050. Engineered removal, such as Direct Air Capture (DAC) is relatively energy-intensive and competing demand for renewable energy globally is high and fraught with moral hazard questions in regions with high current emissions.
CAP-A, along with partners, aims to deploy engineered removal capacity in Africa drawing on otherwise underutilised renewable energy potential. This “industrial anchor demand” will be used to make aggressive expansion of renewable energy capacity bankable, in order to:
- Help keep the world below 1.5oC of warming by contributing to carbon removal globally and expanding experience with this technology, accelerating its path down cost curve
- Drive African economies through revenue generation from carbon removal and establish Africa as a viable location for engineered removals
- Realise co-benefits by expanding generation and grid capacity and expanding affordable energy access.