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Africa to see 240 renewable energy projects to fruition

President of the United Nations Climate Change Summit, COP21, Segolene Royal, announced last week that funding has been raised for 240 renewable energy projects in Africa.

The project list, which represents a total capacity of 45GW, will receive funding under the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, SeeNews reported.

According to media, the projects include 62 solar energy projects with a combined capacity of 6GW; 16 projects for a total of 5GW of wind energy; 13 projects or 7GW of geothermal energy; 58 hydroelectricity projects (20GW); 35 projects combining more than one technology (1GW) and 4 national strategies for adding 8GW solar and wind energy.

African renewable projects on the rise

The French energy minister said at the meeting of African heads of state on the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative in New York last Tuesday, that since COP21 held in Paris last year, donors have already released $5.05 billion, helping to build a capacity of 5.7GW of renewable energy, SeeNews reported.

According to media, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said last week that it has never been “more possible, and less expensive” for Africa to build solar power capacity, as the installed cost for utility-scale parks has fallen to as low as $1.30 (EUR1.16) per watt.

Entitled Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets, the report estimates that the installed costs for power generated by utility-scale solar PV in Africa have decreased by as much as 61% since 2012, and today’s installed costs are as low as $1.30 per watt in Africa, compared to the global average of $1.80 per watt.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, said: “In recent years, solar PV costs have dropped dramatically and will continue to do so with further declines of up to 59% possible in the next ten years.

“These cost reductions, coupled with vast solar potential on the continent, present a huge opportunity for Africa. Both grid-connected and off-grid solar PV now offer a cost-competitive means to meet rising energy needs and bring electricity to the 600 million Africans who currently lack access.”

SeeNews explained: “Launched by African heads of state on December 1, 2015, the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative aims to increase the continent’s installed capacity of renewable energy by 10GW over the period 2016 – 2020, reaching 300GW by 2030.

“During COP21, 10 donors pledged to release $10 billion (including EUR2 billion from France) to contribute to the goal of this initiative.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.