Publications — Others

Data-driven appraisal of renewable energy potentials for sustainable freshwater production in Africa

by Water To Food Team

Clean water scarcity plagues several hundred million people worldwide, representing a major global problem. Nearly half of the total population lacking access to safe and drinkable water lives in Africa. Nonetheless, the African continent has a remarkable yet untapped potential in terms of renewable energy production, which may serve to produce clean water from contaminated or salty resources and for water extraction and distribution. In this view, the analysis of possible scenarios relies on data-driven approaches due to the scale of the problem and the general lack of comprehensive, direct on-site experience. In this work, we aim to systematically review and map the renewable potentials against the freshwater shortage in Africa to gain insight on perspective possible policies and provide a readily usable and well-structured framework and database for further analyses. All reported datasets are critically discussed, organized in tables, and classified by a few metadata to facilitate their usability in further analyses. The accompanying discussion focuses on regions that, in the near future, are expected to significantly exploit their renewable energy potentials, and on the reasons at the basis of the local water shortage, including technological and distribution problems.