KENYA – The Global Wind Energy Council will hold a conference on Wind Energy in Nairobi on 16th and 17th November 2021.

The conference will have interactive sessions and panel discussions on Wind Energy in Africa, and it will bring together more than 25 wind experts and over 70 attendees from around the world.

Africa has a wealth of renewable energy sources including wind energy and solar energy but despite the abundance of wind energy, the industry is small and concentrated in developed regions such as South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt.

Huge upfront costs make it difficult for economies to utilize environmentally friendly renewable energy resources.

Increasingly, African countries are shifting to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy.

In 2018, Kenya sourced 70% of its electricity from renewable energy sources and aimed to reach 100% green energy by 2020.

Morocco has committed to source 52% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, while Egypt aims to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.

According to McKinsey and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Africa’s demand for energy is set to significantly increase by nearly 80% by 2040 as African economies grow.

The Global Wind Energy Council is urging investors to take this golden opportunity to invest in renewable energy in Africa.

However, the massive potential here is not being seized, and over 500 million Africans still lack access to any electricity at all.

Investors are therefore encouraged to take this golden opportunity to invest in renewable energy in Africa.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 944MW of wind energy capacity was installed in Africa and the Middle East in 2019, of which Siemens Gamesa’s latest 262MW wind farm project in Egypt equivalent to powering over 250.000 households.

GWEC Market Intelligence’s preliminary forecasts 10.7 GW of wind energy capacity to be installed between 2020-2024, an increase of 167% compared to the current market status.

Africa has the potential and the ability to utilise its renewable resources to fuel its future with clean energy and doing so is economically viable compared to other solutions and offers substantial benefits in terms of local value creation, energy security and environmental sustainability mainly through job opportunities creation improving the conditions and standard of living for the majority of the continent’s population and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution.

An increasing number of countries have recognised such benefits and are implementing ambitious renewable energy plans and actively pursue the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Egypt which has committed to source 42% of its total electricity from renewable energy by 2035 or Morocco with its renewable energy target of 52% by 2030.

Meanwhile, South Africa plans to install an additional 3.3 GW of wind energy capacity over the next five years covering close to 20% of the electricity consumption in the country.

With just 0.1 percent of the 2011 world market in Africa and the Middle East, the continent is still playing catch up.

Large-upfront costs mean wind is a long way away from overtaking dirtier but cheaper energy sources like coal and gas.

By 2030, wind is only expected to account for two percent of Africa’s power mix, according to the International Energy Agency while coal is set to remain king at 37 percent, followed by gas at 32 percent.

The wind industry in Africa is still small and concentrated, although substantial progress has been observed over the last ten years.

In August 2017, the total capacity was recorded at 4.1GW, the equivalent of four conventional nuclear power plants.

The figure is slightly below the 1% mark of the cumulative global capacity according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) but still an almost 300% increase from 1.1GW in 2011.

The South African REIPPPP, launched in 2011, is mainly responsible for this marked expansion.

The country is by far the biggest producer with more than 1.6GW of operational wind energy capacity, followed by Morocco and Egypt with the two latter countries are progressively recovering from the Arab spring that has put a halt on local industries.

According to the IEA, African grid-based power generation was 158GW in 2012 and a projection of the current capacity of wind power generation would mean that the sector represents only 2.5% of the production.

McKinsey and the IEA forecasts are predicting that by 2040, while the population in sub-Saharan Africa will double and the economy will grow by a factor of four, the energy demand will significantly increase by around 80% under the effects of clean energy policies.

Taking a demand-driven approach, the total power generation capacity will quadruple to 385GW, from 90GW in 2012.

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