Fossil fuels remain the main source of electricity in Africa and studies show that it may continue to be in the next ten years. Researchers found that there are approximately 2,500 power plants on the continent, enough to double power generation by 2030. However, less than 10% of the new energy produced comes from wind or solar energy.
Africa, with a population of approximately 1.2 billion people, will drive world population growth in the coming decades. Electricity supply in Africa is a challenge: According to the International Energy Agency, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. In achieving other sustainable development goals and tackling climate change, access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy as specified in UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 is essential.
Here, with “Sustainable Energy” being examined; the African continent’s leaders in renewable energy production capacity are listed below based on statistics from the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA). According to IRENA, capacity refers to the “maximum net generating capacity of power plants and other facilities that use renewable energy to generate electricity.” Capacity figures refer to power plants and other facilities that use renewable energy to generate electricity.
GP: Solar Power in Sudan
According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), hydropower is the main source of renewable energy generation in Sudan, generating 8,051 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2016.
GP: Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, despite being an oil-rich member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has “a host of diverse renewable energy sources,” including solar, wind and small hydroelectric energy. However, work is needed to develop these resources. For this reason, the government expects that by 2030, renewable energies will represent 30% of the country’s electricity structure.
H/O: Scatec Mozambique
According to the solar company Scatec Solar, construction of Mozambique’s first large-scale solar installation began in 2018, which is located at a 40-megawatt power plant near the city of Mokuba. It is estimated that once completed, the plant will generate 79 GWh of electricity per year, which can supply 175,000 homes.
GP: Solar Power Zambia
According to data from the International Energy Agency, Zambia is highly dependent on hydroelectric power, generating 11,025 GWh in 2016. However, changes are taking place. In April 2019, the green energy subsidiary of Italian energy giant Enel began operating the country’s first 34 megawatt (MW) solar power plant. According to Enel, once it is fully operational, the power plant’s annual production will reach 70 GWh.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
GP: DR CONGO HYDRO
According to data from the International Energy Agency, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has a vast territory and the largest source of renewable energy is hydropower, which generated 9,099 GWh in 2016 alone. The United States Agency for International Development stated that the country can “install up to 100,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power.”
GP: Angola Solar Panel
Like Nigeria, Angola is a member of OPEC and a major oil producer. According to data from the International Hydropower Association, the country is also a major force in hydropower. In 2016, power generation from this source reached 4.95 TWh.
GP: NOOR Morocco
Morocco has the largest concentrating solar park on the planet, which, according to the International Energy Agency, illustrates its “ambition and technological capabilities.” According to Siemens, the country also has several wind farms, including the 300 MW Tarfaya facility on the southwest coast, which can power 1.5 million homes.
According to IRENA data, Ethiopia has a capacity of over 4,000 megawatts, ranking third in renewable energy capacity in Africa. The country is part of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, which aims to allow “privately financed grid-connected solar projects to come online at a competitive price within two years.”
GP: Solar panels in Egypt
Egypt has potential in renewable energy. In October 2018, IRENA declared that by 2030, Egypt can use renewable energy to supply 53% of its electricity mix. In April 2019, Norwegian developer Scatec Solar announced that the first part of its 400 MW Benban solar installation had been connected to the grid and started commercial operations. Upon completion, the board project will have a capacity of 1.5 GW. Scatec is the largest contributor to the project.
South Africa, according to IRENAis the leader on the African continent in terms of renewable energy capacity. It is home to many solar power plants, including the 96-megawatt Jasper Power Plant, a photovoltaic installation with 325,360 panels that can power 80,000 homes. According to data from the Global Wind Energy Council, in terms of wind power, South Africa’s onshore installed capacity reached 2,085 MW in 2018. The South African Wind Energy Association stated that wind power accounts for 52% of the country’s renewable energy supply, while the average size of South African wind power installations is 93.5 MW. South Africa is predicted to add about 40% of Africa’s solar energy by 2030.