It is also a question of public health. Many Africans rely on cooking with wood and charcoal, making indoor pollution a big issue -- 600,000 people
in sub-Saharan Africa die every year from indoor pollution.
Most investment goes to large-scale plants, and to hydropower in particular, but small solar power initiatives are also gaining ground -- an estimated 5 per cent
of households in sub-Saharan Africa now use some form of solar lighting, compared with 1 per cent in 2009.
Huge demand for affordable energy
Renewables could help supply cheaper energy to regions where people have to set aside a large chunk of their income to pay for power.
"The demand is there, people will find the money and they will pay for it," says Kende-Robb.
The poorest people who live off grid are already paying much higher prices for their power than the world's rich -- with some paying 60-80 times more
per energy unit than people in London or New York.
While innovation in renewables is being seen in other developing countries too -- India being one example -- recent investment in renewables in Africa is extraordinary, Kende-Robb explains. "What is amazing about Africa is that they have these incredible case examples, some of the biggest in the world."
In the gallery above, we take a look at some of the super plants already powering millions of households and businesses across the continent with renewable energy.