Black Sherif performing at a concert in Accra

As the world grapples with the urgent need to transition to renewable energy sources, Africa stands at the forefront of this monumental shift.

While the benefits of renewable energy in combating climate change and ensuring sustainable development are widely acknowledged, there is another sector poised to reap the rewards of this transition: the entertainment industry.

In recent years, Africa's entertainment industry has experienced exponential growth, fueled by a burgeoning population, increased urbanization, and a growing middle class.

However, this growth has been accompanied by significant challenges, particularly in the realm of energy access and reliability.

Many entertainment venues, from theaters to music festivals, rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation, leading to high operating costs, environmental degradation, and unreliable power supply.

Across the continent, innovative solutions are emerging to power Africa's entertainment industry sustainably. Solar energy, in particular, holds immense promise.

With abundant sunlight throughout the year, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems offer a reliable and cost-effective means of generating electricity for entertainment venues, even in remote areas with limited grid access.

Let’s take a look at the plans for an August 24 festival by UK-based music collective Massive Attack scheduled for Bristol – which will be powered entirely by renewables: solar energy and battery power.

The Act 1.5 festival is part of Massive Attack’s partnership with Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research seeking to make live music more sustainable by lowering emissions related to these events.

The festival organizers plan to vet vendors, giving priority to those that don’t serve meat and source produce locally for the event. Afterward, they aim to establish a climate-resilient woodland plantation.

Massive Attack hopes this sets a precedent for eco-friendly live music events, with a focus on reducing primary emissions and fan travel. Act 1.5 tickets will prioritize local residents to minimize travel emissions.

Filmmaker Mark Donne noted that a significant portion of event emissions comes from fan travel, and this event aims to address that by incentivizing train travel and providing electric buses and bike parking.

Another organizer, Global Citizen holds one of the biggest musical concerts across the world which lines up some of the world’s most sought-after singers on one big stage.

But the offerings go beyond music – it is an avenue to assemble thousands of people to take action toward making the world a better place.

This comprises eliminating extreme poverty, ensuring equity, and saving the planet with nearly 4 million people taking action with 1.29 billion lives being impacted.

Regarding the planet, the Global Goal 7 focuses on finding a balance between ensuring universal access to energy and limiting energy’s contribution to an unhealthy environment and climate change.

Specifically, the goal seeks to improve access to energy, and increase energy efficiency.

In Ghana, musician Worlasi held an event dubbed ‘Giving Shade’ in April 2022. Proceeds from this event saw the artist teaming up with stakeholders to plant more trees in parts of Accra.

This has a ripple effect on the improvement of smart forest management, which can become an eco-friendly fuel and renewable energy source.

This not only aligns with growing consumer demand for socially and environmentally responsible entertainment but also serves as a powerful platform for raising awareness about renewable energy and climate change.

However, significant challenges remain. Despite the rapid advances in renewable energy technology, widespread adoption in the entertainment industry requires overcoming barriers such as upfront costs, lack of financing mechanisms, and inadequate infrastructure.

Additionally, policymakers and industry stakeholders must work collaboratively to create an enabling environment for renewable energy investment and innovation.

The parallels between renewable energy and the entertainment industry in Africa are striking.

Both sectors represent untapped potential for driving economic growth, promoting sustainability, and fostering cultural expression.

By embracing renewable energy solutions, Africa's entertainment industry can not only reduce its carbon footprint but also catalyze a new era of creativity, resilience, and inclusivity.

The author, Kenneth Awotwe Darko is a journalist, music enthusiast and social media analyst.

Follow him on Twitter via @TheKennethDarko and on Facebook, Kenneth Awotwe Darko.


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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.