Renewable energy sources in an effort to transition from fossil fuels to achieve a net zero emission in energy generation has become the next target for many countries across the world in fulfillment of the fight against climate change per the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs.
Renewable resources span from hydropower (electric energy from moving water), geothermal power (energy stored in rocks and fluids obtained from the heat below the earth surface formed as a result of decayed materials.), biomass (simply energy derived from plant/animal materials), wind energy and solar energy.
It is however obvious that solar energy remains the most popularly spoken about renewable energy source on our continent, Africa due to the natural advantage the sun gives in its generation.
A lot more investments have been made in favour of solar seeing supportive initiatives from some financial institutions such as Ecobank’s Green Climate Fund, and Stanbic Bank’s support for Green Enterprises programmes.
It is worth noting that the financial investment support promised above are not limited to solar energy projects alone but encourages initiatives that promote clean energy for sustainable development.
This is why Africa must not only focus on solar but open up to the other green sources and may begin with wind in the immediate future. Africa has tapped not more than 1% of its wind energy.
Meanwhile, the total wind energy potential on the continent alone is over 59,000 GW according to the latest wind resource data published in October 2020 by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, enough to power the continent’s energy demand 250 times and the coastal lines can be one of the potential locations best suited for wind power turbines in wind energy generation.
Countries like Kenya with its Lake Turkana Wind Farm generates about 300MW which can power over a million household is actually a private investment valued at about US$600m.
Senegals Taiba N’Diaye wind farm produces 158MW of wind power has capacity to generate up to 400Gwh clean electricity annually increasing total power output by 15% for the country.
South Africa has the most wind farms in Africa currently owing many private wind farms such as the 140MW twin wind farm called the Khobab & Loeriesfontein supplying to the country’s national power grid. Its installation comprises of 122 wind turbine generators which currently powers over 200, 000 households in South Africa.
The country boasts of yet another farm of same capacity, the Kangnas Wind Farm 140MW capacity generating more than 500,000MW/h per year provide electricity for over 150,000 households.
If Africa wishes to meet its environmental pollution target per the Convention on Climate Change (Paris Agreement) as well has make a valuable contribution to the UN-SDGs then it must consider tapping into other sources of renewable energy of which wind energy is one of the cost effective potentials which is yet to grow on our continent and efforts through government policies and as part of private sector strategic decisions, research and education to drive attention to its potential in order to bring the global green environment target to a reality.
Corporate Communications – Energy