Energy officials have said that the strong demand for power in Africa would give rise to the use of renewables in the next 5 years.
In order to effectively distribute enough electricity to the citizens of Africa, they would need approximately 200,000 MW of power. This can’t be achieved by gas alone, which is one of the reasons why they’re reaching out towards a more renewable view, using sun, wind, and water as their main sources of energy. The current rate of production is about 5,500 MW.
The use of renewable energy in Africa is really growing. Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable division at the Paris-based International Energy Agency said, “A big chunk of this (growth) is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar sources in South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia and wind in South Africa and Ethiopia as well.”
Ethiopia has constructed a $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River that will produce 6,000 MW once it’s finished. This is a sufficient amount of power for an average populated city for a year. “Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules,” Frankl said.
All of the plans and projects are being delayed due to financial and political issues. The government is thinking five years from now would be sufficient to make the shift to renewable energy in Africa much clearer.