Renewable Energy: Vision for a Sustainable Africa
With both primary and secondary markets of Africa emphasising on sustainable growth and transformation, the continent is turning to renewable energy to fuel the growth and is receiving massive investments from investors and world leaders. Africa has massive untapped resources for renewable energy with the potential for mass electricity to be generated from wind and solar energies. ‘’Sub-Saharan Africa could provide more than 170 gigawatts of additional power-generation capacity …through 3,200 “low-carbon” energy projects, such as combined heat-and-power, biofuels production…’’ (http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatefinance)
Africa’s renewable energy power potential is substantially larger than the demand, but the latter is expected to grow exponentially. Collective demand is expected to exceed 1,000 TWh by 2030, nearly triple their consumption in 2010. The potential for wind and solar generated electricity is still unexplored and the falling costs of these energies have fuelled a growth in a number of African countries.
There is a great push from African countries such as Morocco, Senegal and South Africa, among others, to move from coal to sources such as gas to fuel power plants. Renewable energy solutions in solar, and wind in particular have increased due to falling costs.
Zambia: To diversify Zambia’s energy mix and reduce the reliance on hydroelectricity, US trade and Development Agency has offered $1.05m of funding support to a 130MW wind farm development in Zambia. The $275m wind power project is Zambia’s first and one of the largest renewable energy developments in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a lot of development going on in the solar energy sector as with the Indian firm, Sterling and Wilson beginning the construction of a $60 million solar power plant in Kafue. This project will not only profit over two million residents of Lusaka and Kafue but Zambia as a whole and the eight neighbouring countries.
Mozambique: First large scale solar energy production plant in Mozambique is set to be finished by the end of the year in Mocuba with an installed capacity of 40 megawatts it is expected to supply 77,000 megawatt-hours per year to about 175,000 homes.