African states have acknowledged the importance of a diverse energy mix to ensure a long-term secure electricity network, notes global engineering, procurement, construction and consulting company Black & Veatch.
Black & Veatch business development director Webb Meko commented: “Africa is a hub of abundant energy resources that can be brought on line quickly and cost effectively. A blended and balanced energy system that includes traditional energy resources, small-scale systems and renewable-energy sources will provide adequate power output for cities and industries, as well as reaching consumers in more remote areas.”
According to Meko, Ghana is advancing the country’s existing energy mix, which is currently reliant on hydro and thermal power, Engineering News reported.
However, media reported that the west African region is exploring alternative energy resources such as solar, wind and biomass power, as well as distributed generation and microgrids. Read more…
“[The] rapid increase in power generation [in Ghana] is due to it seeking to sustain economic growth, increase power for export, and accommodate an increasing level of urbanisation, which is forecast to grow by 72% by 2035.”
Africa explores diverse energy mix
According to Meko, the business and financial environments in Africa need to adopt new approaches to bolster investor confidence, and clear other obstacles to plan and implement advanced technologies, Engineering News reported.
When owners or investors are dealing with technologies they may be less familiar with, they seek bankable, well- developed and delivered projects, with experienced consultants and engineering and construction providers, Meko explains.
In addition, Meko advises that firms conduct thorough screening processes and assess interested bidders prior to tender process, Engineering News reported.
“This is to ensure the appointment of experts with the best holistic qualifications, with more weighting placed on life cycle cost selection,” Meko said.
“He points out that making tender award decisions based solely on low pricing can be a trap – leading to projects that are not well planned, behind schedule, lack plant performance requirements and end up more expensive in the long run. Asset values for investors can also be hindered by poor project development issues and performance,” Engineering News reported.
Meko noted: “Appointing a trusted specialist with a proven and relevant record of experience, with projects relevant to the size and technology of the investor’s requirements, results in concrete project development and execution plans, and provides the best path to investment confidence and project execution certainty.”
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