Nexus, the keystone for a sustainable future

Published on Monday, 20 May 2019

Nexus Africa

Water is at the core of simply everything and its bond with energy and food is inseparable. Without energy, water can’t be treated, drained, desalinated and distributed to make it drinkable. At the same time, water is an essential factor in the energy generation process as it serves purposes of cooling, extraction and transport.

On the other hand, food production needs the redemptive power of water for irrigation which in turn needs energy to work, while other energy intensive tasks are fertilization, as well as the gathering and conservation of raw or processed foodstuffs.

All vegetable materials, animal fats and waste products, organic elements in waste waters and all residues of biological origin concur to form the total available elements that make up the production of bioenergy. This is a textbook example of a nexus.

Knowing the nexus to discover it

If untying the knot that binds water, food and energy together seems downright impossible, using them to benefit sustainable development is an ever demanding challenge.

Africa’s food and water sectors still haven’t seized renewables as a founding pillar of their development strategy. Starting from the Sustainable Development Goal number 7 (Clean and accessible energy), EGP has chosen to explore the boundaries of this nexus with the help of RES4MED&Africa.

This is a complex paradigm shift, although it’s one that can be triggered through studies and projects in collaboration with international development institutions that operate in the food and water sectors.

Its purpose is to demonstrate, with the backing of solid data, that the nexus can deliver new life and provide access to fresh financial backing to all actors at play in the renewable energy camp. All of this, while acting as the enabling factor for the future of sustainable development in Africa.

“Nowadays renewables are the fastest and most affordable sustainable energy solution to ensure energy access in Africa; but there are still challenges to face in terms of policy, financial and regulatory framework in order to foster adequate investments.”

– Lamberto Dai Pra’, Head of EGP for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Australia

The Nexus was the centerpiece of the conference titled The Role of Renewable Energy: Business Empowering which took place on May 16 at Rome’s Exhibition center.

A fruitful morning where all participants went their way to blaze the path of an innovative approach, that strives to foster a truly sustainable development through novel financial instruments that suit Africa’s local legislative frameworks supporting investments in renewables.