By Abhay Pathania,


Africa has seen rapid economic growth this century, with a corresponding increase in the demand for energy. Keeping pace with rising energy needs is at the top of the agenda for policy makers, to enable economic growth and extend access to modern energy to those lacking it now. These are not easy challenges. Supply lags demand, and in as many as 30 countries in Africa recurrent electricity outages and load shedding are the norm. About 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity, and approximately 730 million people rely on traditional uses of biomass. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is generally three to five times higher in North Africa, where less than 2% of the population is without access to electricity. In contrast, about half of people in West Africa and three quarters in East Africa and most of Southern Africa lack access to electricity (although only 15% in South Africa lack electricity access). North Africa on average consumes eight times more electricity per capita than the rest of the continent, excluding South Africa.

Exhibit 1: Regional Spread and Access of Electricity with Per Capita Consumption


Source: eninrac research, IRENA & EU

1. Capacity Addition Plans for Renewable Energy in Africa – Estimating Likely Additions

2030’s Africa analysis found tremendous potential to diversify energy sources and meet growing demand using modern renewable technologies. The analysis considered individual countries’ demand profiles, resource endowments, and potential. Conclusions are specific to the continent as well as its five regions. Of the modern renewable sources in use in 2018, more than half came from modern biomass for cooking. Renewable electricity generation accounted for over 30%, mostly from hydropower.

Exhibit 2: Anticipated Capacity Addition in Renewable Energy in Africa


Source: eninrac research, IRENA & EU

RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR POWER SECTOR TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA

Currently the pipeline of power-generation projects in Africa is expected to bring 81 GW in new capacity. Of that total more than a third will use renewable energy, mostly hydro. Almost two thirds of those planned projects are in the East and Southern regions. Of total investment needs to supply 610 GW by 2030, RE Options would account for 310 GW. Renewable power generation would surpass 1 000 TWh and comprise about half of total generation, an increase from 17% as of 2018. Exhibit 1.3 provides an overview of generation capacity developments in the five regions from 2018 to 2030. Of 310 GW, hydro represents101 GW, 63 GW of which is in the East Africa and Southern Africa regions. Large-scale deployment of wind resources, reaching 100 GW of capacity by 2030, could further help diversify systems that are reliant on fossil fuels. The highest potential for wind is in North Africa, at 70 GW. CSP would add additional capacity of 38 GW, almost exclusively in North Africa, while 30 GW of solar PV would be deployed across all regions except East Africa where hydro and wind power are the most-cost effective solutions. About 33 GW of all RE Options are decentralized solutions, mostly solar rooftop PV in Southern Africa.

Exhibit 3: Projected Renewable Capacity Spread in Africa as per Regions


Source: eninrac research, IRENA & EU

Table 1: Projected Renewable Capacity Spread in Africa as per Country


  Share of Total Energy Share of Electricity Planned Capacity Target Year & Notes
Algeria 40     2030, 5% by 2017
Benin       2025, 50% of rural electrification
Burundi 2.1     2020, 4 MW of Biomass, 212 MW of Hydro & 10 MW Wind
Cabo Verde   50   2020
Cote de’ Ivoire 5,15,20     2020 & 2030
Djibouti 30     2020 Solar-PV Off Grid
Egypt 14     2020, Hydro 2.8 GW, PV 300 MW, CSP 2.8 GW & Wind 7.2 GW
Ethiopia     6810 MW 760 MW of Wind, 5600 MW of Hydro & 450 MW of Geothermal
Gabon 80     2020
Ghana   10   2020
Guinea   8   2025 6% of PV and 2% of Wind
Guinea-Bissau 2     2020 From Solar PV
Kenya     5000 MW 5000 MW Geothermal by 2030
Lesotho   35   2020 Share of rural electricity
Libya 10     2020
Madagascar 54     2020
Malawi 7     2020
Mali 15     2020
Mauritania 20     2020
Mauritius   35   2025
Morocco   42   2025
Mozambique     6000 MW 6000 MW of Wind, Solar & Hydro of 2000 MW
Namibia     40 MW 2019
Niger 10     2020
Nigeria 20     2030
Rwanda   90   2020
Senegal 15     2025
South Africa       2020
Tunisia   25   2030, 11% by 2019
Uganada   61   2019
Zimbabwe   10   2020 10% of biofuels

Source: eninrac research, IRENA & EU

Exhibit 5: Major Power Transmission Corridors & Power Generation Units in Africa with Interconnectors


2. Identifying Major Capacity Addition Hubs for Renewable Energy in North Africa & Opportunity for Building Green Energy Corridor

Algeria & Egypt are two countries in the Northern Africa region which will see good renewable energy capacities planned under solar & wind power. The key development for renewable energy corridors shall preside over these two countries in the northern region. The inter-connector shall be between Nigeria & Algeria. The details are in Exhibit as below:

Exhibit 6: Major Capacity Addition for RE in North Africa & Key Transmission Corridors in Egypt and Algeria


Source: eninrac research & Companies

3. Identifying Major Capacity Addition Hubs for Renewable Energy in East Africa & Opportunity for Building Green Energy Corridor

Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda are the countries in the Eastern Africa region which will see good renewable energy capacities planned under hydro & geothermal power. The key development for renewable energy corridors shall preside over these two countries in the eastern region. The details are in Exhibit as below:

Exhibit 7: Major Capacity Addition for RE in East Africa & Key Transmission Corridors in Egypt and Algeria


Source: eninrac research & Companies

4. Identifying Major Capacity Addition Hubs for Renewable Energy in West Africa & Opportunity for Building Green Energy Corridor

Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire & Ghana are the countries in the Western Africa region which will see good renewable energy capacities planned under hydro & wind power. The key development for renewable energy corridors shall preside over these two countries in the western region. The details are in Exhibit as below:

Exhibit 8: Major Capacity Addition for RE in West Africa & Key Transmission Corridors in Egypt and Algeria


Source: eninrac research & Companies

5. Identifying Major Capacity Addition Hubs for Renewable Energy in South Africa & Opportunity for Building Green Energy Corridor

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia & Zambia are the countries in the Southern Africa region which will see good renewable energy capacities planned under hydro, solar & wind power. The key development for renewable energy corridors shall preside over these two countries in the southern region. The details are in Exhibit as below:

Exhibit 9: Major Capacity Addition for RE in South Africa & Key Transmission Corridors in Egypt and Algeria


Source: eninrac research & Companies


About the author(s)

Abhay Pathania



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