Continuing technology advances, falling prices and new financing models means renewable energy projects have become increasingly practical in sub-Saharan Africa.
But while the sharply falling price of renewable technologies means projects are less dependent on subsidies, policy and regulatory uncertainty in some key African markets is driving a slowdown in renewable energy investment, according to a number of recent reports.
The transmission unit of South African electricity utility Eskom has completed a strategic grid study for the period to 2040. The study signals major shifts in future generation and demand patterns that will have implications for the domestic network and future investment decisions.
Strategic grid planning senior manager Ronald Marais says the ‘2040 Transmission Network Study’ has drawn on various scenarios to determine the grid’s development requirements, as well as to identify critical power corridors and network constraints.
Installed wind power capacity could swell by 530% to 2,000 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, supplying up to 19% of global electricity, a report from a trade association and Greenpeace said on Tuesday.
It said installed wind energy capacity totalled 318 GW at the end of last year worldwide and provided around 3% of global electricity supply. Capacity is set to grow by another 45 GW to 363 GW this year.
As Eskom continues to declare regular ‘emergencies’ and black outs persist, renewable energy including wind, has the potential to rescue the situation over the next five years – we just need to mix small and large scale technologies, says the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).
Attend WINDaba from 03 to 05 November 2014 in Cape Town and have access to a broad range of topics with the view to a robust and sustainable wind energy sector. All calculations indicate that our current electricity supply cannot provide the power we need to grow the economy to its full potential. Projections show that the country will not have the energy required to fully realise its economic ambitions until 2020 or later, without intervention from a cost effective source.