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Africa’s Wind Energy Industry Expected to Diversify as Interest to Harness the Continent’s Wind Grows

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  Outside of a limited number of countries wind turbines have remained rare in Africa But this is not for lack of potential In 2020 a study by the International Finance Corporation IFC found that continental Africa has an onshore wind potential of almost 180 000 TWh year enough to meet 250 times the electricity needs of the entire continent As the continent continues to look for ways to expand access to energy the adoption of wind power as an energy source is expected to accelerate where the wind blows So far only Morocco Egypt and South Africa have been truly successful in harnessing their wind potential and attracting private capital to establish wind farms Through its widely acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement REIPPP program South Africa has already commissioned 34 wind farms with an installed capacity of more than 3 3 GW according to the country s IPP Office And this is far from over In 2021 the South African Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy announced 25 winning bidders in its REIPPP Bidding Window 5 including 12 wind farms with a total capacity of 1 600 MW The project agreement for these facilities is expected to be signed before the end of 2022 The country also opened REIPPP Window 6 in April 2022 which will award a maximum capacity of 1 600 MW of wind power with projects ranging from 50 MW to 240 MW In the north Morocco and Egypt continue to drive the development of wind energy The latter has an installed wind generation capacity of almost 1 5 GW in 13 wind farms according to its Ministry of Energy It now expects to commission another 2 GW by 2025 with an additional 14 wind farms On the other hand Egypt has seen fewer but larger projects Its four wind farms have a current installed capacity of 1 6 GW The most recent West Bakr was commissioned by Lekela Power in November 2021 The role of development and multilateral finance In the rest of the continent the multilateral and development financial institutions DFIs have played a key role in supporting the emergence of the wind sector West Africa has increasingly harnessed its wind potential with installations commissioned in Cape Verde Cabe lica 2011 Senegal Taiba Ndiaye 2019 and Mauritania Boulenouar 2020 The projects received significant support from the African Finance Corporation AFC the US International Development Finance Corporation DFC and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development AFESD They have successfully laid the groundwork for more projects to follow In December 2021 the US DFC provided funding for a feasibility study to expand Senegal s 158 7 MW Taiba Ndiaye wind farm by another 100 MW East Africa is also joining the game led by Kenya After the expansion of the Ngong facility in 2014 the country commissioned the 310 MW Lake Turkana wind farm in 2017 and the 100 MW Kipeto wind farm in 2021 The African Development Bank AfDB was the Authorized lead coordinator of the Lake Turkana debt package and managed to attract several leading European DFIs to finance the project For its part Kipeto was mainly financed by the US DFC After its success in Cape Verde the AFC has moved east where it is the lead developer of the Djibouti Red Sea Wind Power Project in Ghoubet The 60 MW facility is nearing completion and is the country s first Independent Power Producer IPP An ideal option to reduce carbon emissions More recently natural resources and extractive industries have provided an additional driver for the adoption of wind energy in Africa Publicly traded oil and gas and mining companies looking to decarbonize their portfolio and reduce carbon emissions in their operations are considering wind power In March 2022 Savannah Energy signed an agreement with the Ministry of Petroleum Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Niger to develop the first wind farm in the country Savannah Energy operator of some of Niger s most prolific oil blocks plans to build and operate the 250 MW facility in the Tahoua region The wind farm will be structured as an IPP and is currently undergoing a feasibility study It is expected to be sanctioned in 2023 for possible commissioning in 2025 In Zambia First Quantum Minerals FQM partnered with Chariot and Total Eren earlier this year to develop 430 MW of solar and wind power for its mining operations Notably the company operates Africa s largest copper mine by production in Zambia and seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 by 2025 In South Africa Anglo American is embarking on an even bigger project with EDF Renewables Both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March this year to work together on the development of a new regional renewable energy ecosystem RREE The scheme is expected to be designed to meet Anglo American s electricity operational requirements in South Africa by supplying 100 renewable electricity by 2030 In particular it seeks to develop a network of on site and off site wind and solar farms with a total storage of up to 5 GW to power Anglo American s operations The hydrogen opportunity Equally important the rise of the hydrogen industry in Africa will also support the growth of its wind sector Last year Chariot Energy Group signed a memorandum of understanding MoU with the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum Mines and Energy to advance the Nour Project a potential green hydrogen development of up to 10 GW Under the MoU the Nour Project has been granted exclusivity over 14 400 km2 of land and sea areas in Mauritania where pre feasibility and feasibility studies will be carried out to generate solar and wind energy used in electrolysis to split water and produce hydrogen and oxygen green In Namibia the government issued an award notice in late 2021 to HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy the joint venture of Nicholas Holdings Limited and ENERTRAG South Africa Pty Ltd to develop South Africa s first gigawatt scale green hydrogen project Africa The 9 4 billion scheme will be located within the Tsau Khaeb National Park which is among the world s top five resource rich places for onshore wind and solar power according to Hyphen Full development of the project targets 300 000 metric tons of green hydrogen production per year from 5 GW of renewable generation capacity and 3 GW electrolyser
Africa’s Wind Energy Industry Expected to Diversify as Interest to Harness the Continent’s Wind Grows

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International Finance Corporation

Outside of a limited number of countries, wind turbines have remained rare in Africa. But this is not for lack of potential. In 2020, a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) found that continental Africa has an onshore wind potential of almost 180,000 TWh/year, enough to meet 250 times the electricity needs of the entire continent. As the continent continues to look for ways to expand access to energy, the adoption of wind power as an energy source is expected to accelerate.

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where the wind blows

South Africa

So far, only Morocco, Egypt and South Africa have been truly successful in harnessing their wind potential and attracting private capital to establish wind farms. Through its widely acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement (REIPPP) program, South Africa has already commissioned 34 wind farms with an installed capacity of more than 3.3 GW, according to the country’s IPP Office.

South African Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy

And this is far from over. In 2021, the South African Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy announced 25 winning bidders in its REIPPP Bidding Window 5, including 12 wind farms with a total capacity of 1,600 MW. The project agreement for these facilities is expected to be signed before the end of 2022.

REIPPP Window

The country also opened REIPPP Window 6 in April 2022, which will award a maximum capacity of 1,600 MW of wind power, with projects ranging from 50 MW to 240 MW.

Morocco and Egypt

In the north, Morocco and Egypt continue to drive the development of wind energy. The latter has an installed wind generation capacity of almost 1.5 GW in 13 wind farms according to its Ministry of Energy. It now expects to commission another 2 GW by 2025 with an additional 14 wind farms.

West Bakr

On the other hand, Egypt has seen fewer but larger projects. Its four wind farms have a current installed capacity of 1.6 GW. The most recent, West Bakr, was commissioned by Lekela Power in November 2021.

The role of development and multilateral finance

In the rest of the continent, the multilateral and development financial institutions (DFIs) have played a key role in supporting the emergence of the wind sector.

West Africa

West Africa has increasingly harnessed its wind potential with installations commissioned in Cape Verde (Cabeólica, 2011), Senegal (Taiba Ndiaye, 2019), and Mauritania (Boulenouar, 2020). The projects received significant support from the African Finance Corporation (AFC), the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).

Taiba Ndiaye

They have successfully laid the groundwork for more projects to follow. In December 2021, the US DFC provided funding for a feasibility study to expand Senegal’s 158.7 MW Taiba Ndiaye wind farm by another 100 MW.

East Africa

East Africa is also joining the game, led by Kenya. After the expansion of the Ngong facility in 2014, the country commissioned the 310 MW Lake Turkana wind farm in 2017 and the 100 MW Kipeto wind farm in 2021. The African Development Bank (AfDB) was the Authorized lead coordinator of the Lake Turkana debt package and managed to attract several leading European DFIs to finance the project. For its part, Kipeto was mainly financed by the US DFC.

Cape Verde

After its success in Cape Verde, the AFC has moved east, where it is the lead developer of the Djibouti Red Sea Wind Power Project in Ghoubet. The 60 MW facility is nearing completion and is the country’s first Independent Power Producer (IPP).

An ideal option to reduce carbon emissions

More recently, natural resources and extractive industries have provided an additional driver for the adoption of wind energy in Africa. Publicly traded oil and gas and mining companies looking to decarbonize their portfolio and reduce carbon emissions in their operations are considering wind power.

Savannah Energy

In March 2022, Savannah Energy signed an agreement with the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Niger to develop the first wind farm in the country. Savannah Energy, operator of some of Niger’s most prolific oil blocks, plans to build and operate the 250 MW facility in the Tahoua region. The wind farm will be structured as an IPP and is currently undergoing a feasibility study. It is expected to be sanctioned in 2023 for possible commissioning in 2025.

First Quantum Minerals

In Zambia, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) partnered with Chariot and Total Eren earlier this year to develop 430 MW of solar and wind power for its mining operations. Notably, the company operates Africa’s largest copper mine by production in Zambia and seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.

South Africa

In South Africa, Anglo American is embarking on an even bigger project with EDF Renewables. Both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March this year to work together on the development of a new regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE). The scheme is expected to be designed to meet Anglo American’s electricity operational requirements in South Africa by supplying 100% renewable electricity by 2030. In particular, it seeks to develop a network of on-site and off-site wind and solar farms. with a total storage of up to 5 GW to power Anglo American’s operations.

The hydrogen opportunity

Equally important, the rise of the hydrogen industry in Africa will also support the growth of its wind sector.

Chariot Energy Group

Last year, Chariot Energy Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy to advance the Nour Project, a potential green hydrogen development of up to 10 GW.

Nour Project

Under the MoU, the Nour Project has been granted exclusivity over 14,400 km2 of land and sea areas in Mauritania, where pre-feasibility and feasibility studies will be carried out to generate solar and wind energy used in electrolysis to split water and produce hydrogen and oxygen. green.

Hydrogen Energy

In Namibia, the government issued an award notice in late 2021 to HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy, the joint venture of Nicholas Holdings Limited and ENERTRAG South Africa (Pty) Ltd, to develop South Africa’s first gigawatt-scale green hydrogen project. Africa.

Khaeb National Park

The $9.4 billion scheme will be located within the Tsau//Khaeb National Park, which is among the world’s top five resource-rich places for onshore wind and solar power, according to Hyphen. Full development of the project targets 300,000 metric tons of green hydrogen production per year from 5 GW of renewable generation capacity and 3 GW electrolyser.

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