African countries leading the way with Green Energy

  • Jun 10, 2019
  • Open Zambia

Africa, home to around 1.2 billion people, is set to drive global population growth over the next few decades.

Access to electricity in African is a challenge. According to the international Energy Agency, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity.

Access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy - as laid our in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change.

Hydropower is the main source of renewable electricity generation in Sudan, producing 8,051 gigawatt (Gwh) in 2016, accordingly to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Despite being an oil rich member of OPEC, Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa - is home to “abundance of various renewable energy resources including solar, wind and small hydro power, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Work needs to be done to exploit these resources, however. To this end, the government wants renewables to make up 30% of the country’s electricity mix by 2030.

Consutrction work on Mozambique’s first large scale solar facility, a 40 MW plant near the city of Mocuba, started in 2018, according to solar first Scatec Solar.

It’s estimated that, once complete, the plant will generate 79 GWh of electricity per year and help to power 175,000 homes.

Zambia is heavily reliant on hydropower, which generated 11,025 GWh in 2016, according to the IEA.

Change is taking place, though. In April 2019, the green energy subsidiary of Italian energy giant Enel started operations at 34-megawatt (MW) solar plant, it’s first in the country.

Once fully operational, the power plant is set to produce 70 GWh every year accordingly to Enel.

A vast country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's biggest renewable source is hydropower, which generated 9,099 GWh in 2016, according to the IEA.

The United States Agency for International Development has said that the country could potentially "install up to 100,000 MW of hydropower capacity."

Like Nigeria, Angola is a member of OPEC and a major oil producer.

The country is also a significant force in hydropower, with generation from that source hitting 4.95 terawatt hours in 2016, according to the International Hydropower Association.

Morocco boasts the planet's biggest concentrating solar park which according to the IEA illustrates its "ambition and technological capability."

The country also has several wind farms, including the 300 MW Tarfaya facility, which is located on its southwest coast and can power 1.5 million homes, according to Siemens.

With over 4,000 MW of capacity, Ethiopia places third when it comes to renewable energy capacity in Africa, according to IRENA.

The country is part of the World Bank's Scaling Solar program, which has the goal of making "privately funded grid-connected solar projects operational within two years and at competitive tariffs."

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