WASHINGTON, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Only one percent of private energy capital flows go to Africa, there is a need for investment in clean energy with a high base load to spur growth throughout the region, President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim told an audience at GE conference on African energy growth.
“The one number to remember is only 1 percent of private capital flows for energy go to Africa. And we have got to change that situation,” said Dr. Kim, expressing his concern that African nations develop the installed capacity needed for future economic growth.
“So far, the solar and wind [power generation] is not to a point where we can call it real installed capacity that will be of the form that can facilitate the type of industrial development we need to see in Africa,” Kim noted.
The GE event took place on the sidelines of the week-long US-Africa business summit launched by President Barack Obama to improve business and investment relations. The summit is the largest of its kind, bringing the largest delegation of African leaders to Washington, DC in US history.
Energy sources that appear most promising to Dr. Kim include hydropower, development of natural gas resources, and other high base load sources. “Sustainable resources [are] important, but we really have got to get that base load in place so that development can happen.” Kim continued, “That’s why we need to go back and look at large-scale hydro.”
Asked his thoughts on nuclear power and small modular reactors for the region, Kim noted that the World Bank current does not currently fund nuclear, but it is something he is paying close attention to for the future.
“I’m very much aware that the technology in nuclear energy is evolving rapidly. So we will continue to watch it. We’ve got to really look at ways of building up that base load that these countries need,” Kim concluded.