White Paper

Closing the Loop on Energy Access in Africa

Access to clean, reliable electricity is one of the greatest challenges to sustainable development in Africa. Energy storage, particularly batteries, will be critical to supporting Africa’s progress to full energy access by 2030, enabling off-grid and on-grid electrification. This increasing demand for batteries also brings substantial challenges, due to a growing stream of decommissioned batteries. Pollution cases from substandard lead-acid battery recycling facilities on the continent, and a lack of lithium-ion take-back systems and recycling infrastructure highlight these challenges. The study for the World Economic Forum and the Global Battery Alliance analysis the current situation around end-of-life management of batteries in Africa and derives recommendations to develop and advance responsible end-of-life battery management in related settings.