African Renewable Energy Projects by Resource

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A group of researchers from Germany have created a renewable energy geo-referenced database – The Renewable Power Plant Database for Africa (RePP) – that provides a comprehensive overview of the renewable energy projects currently underway across the continent.

Separated into four categories ranging from “small” (1-10MW) to “medium” (10-100MW) to “large” (100-1,000MW) to “very large” (1,000MW+), the study details the existing, under construction and planned projects across Africa’s hydropower, solar and wind sectors.

Hydropower Projects See Resurgence

Africa’s hydropower market has seen rapid growth in recent years, as governments and renewable energy project developers move to capitalize on the continent’s significant hydro potential. In this regard, the RePP provides data on 1,074 projects, stating that 401 projects are either operating or under construction, totaling 59.56GW, while 673 projects are in the proposal stage as of November 2022, totaling 130.85GW.

Of the 255 existing projects, 43% are small; 35% are medium; 21% are large and four percent are very large, while of the 47 projects under construction, 26% are small; 34% are medium; 30% are large; and 11% are very large. Within these two categories, the countries hosting very large project developments include Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Meanwhile, of the 672 planned projects, 30% are small, 42% are medium, 25% are large and three percent are very large, with the countries planning the very large projects including Angola, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Solar Advances Electrification

With some of the highest solar potential globally, a suite of solar projects have been launched across the continent, underpinned by universal electrification targets. According to the RePP, which provides data on 1,128 solar projects continent-wide, 411 projects are either operating or under construction, totaling 10.56GW, while 717 projects have been proposed, totaling 53.32GW.

Of the 361 existing projects, 53% are small, 45% are medium, and one percent is large, while of the 50 projects under construction, 38% are small, 60% are medium and two percent are large. Under these categories, the large projects are located in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Meanwhile, of the 717 planned projects, 28% are small, 60% are medium, 12% are large and less than one percent is very large. The very large projects are set to be located in Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Wind Projects Take Off Continentally

Key markets across Africa hold the opportunity to dramatically improve energy access through the development of wind power projects. As such, the RePP explores various projects underway. From the data that covers 276 wind projects, the RePP states that 127 projects are either operating or under construction, totaling 10.53GW, while 149 projects have been proposed, totaling 16.87GW.

Of the 119 existing projects, 22% are small, 45% are medium and 34% are large, while of the eight projects currently under construction, 25% are medium and 75% are large. Projects under the large category are located in Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

Meanwhile, of the 149 planned projects across the continent, seven percent are small, 52% are medium and 41% are large. The large projects are set to be located in Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia.

As these projects come online, a new era of electrification and economic growth is in sight, as maximizing the continent’s renewable resources deliver new opportunities for sustainable energy security and growth.

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.

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