A Snapshot of Renewable Energy Research in Sub-Saharan Africa
Journal of Energy and Natural Resources
Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages: 146-154
Received: Oct. 29, 2019; Accepted: Nov. 18, 2019; Published: Dec. 6, 2019
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Sydney Oluoch, Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA
Pankaj Lal, Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA
Bernabas Wolde, Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA
Neeraj Vedwan, Department of Anthropology, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA
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Global concern over energy security and climate change has resulted in the need to adopt renewable energy technologies. The sub-continent of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) has lagged in terms of renewable energy development and research, despite having great potential for renewable energy resources. We examined emerging trends in renewable energy research in peer-reviewed publications in-order to identify research gaps, research perspectives, current knowledge and development of renewable energy research over time. We used the bibliometric mapping approach to extract and map the most frequently used keywords. This approach was useful in providing a guideline for insights on current geographic and sectoral hotspots. Temporal analysis confirmed that renewable energy publications experienced a substantial growth with biomass energy publications being the most dominant for the study period. The bibliometric maps confirmed this finding as most of the terms pertained to biomass-related topics. It is notable that there has been a shift of the discussion from the traditional sources of biomass (firewood and charcoal) to modern bio-fuel crops in SSA. From this quantitative review it was evident that the key solutions to bridging development gaps for renewable energy in SSA are interconnected. Adequate research stems from sufficient funding that results in bridging technical gaps (in terms of skill and technology), and information (data and awareness). There is a need for a suitable policy framework backed by political will, enforcement and facilitative governance framework to channel the limited resources towards maximizing gains in renewable energy development in SSA.
Quantitative Review, Bibliometric Mapping, Renewable Energy, Sub-Saharan Africa
To cite this article
Sydney Oluoch, Pankaj Lal, Bernabas Wolde, Neeraj Vedwan, A Snapshot of Renewable Energy Research in Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of Energy and Natural Resources. Vol. 8, No. 4, 2019, pp. 146-154. doi: 10.11648/j.jenr.20190804.13
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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