News and updates from the continent

Africa: More renewables in 2014 than in past 13 years

Africa: More renewables in 2014 than in past 13 years

Aug 21, 2014

In an article published on on 21 August 2014, Justin Doom reports that more renewable-energy projects will be commissioned this year in sub-Saharan Africa than were added between 2000 and 2013

Citing resports from London-based research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Doom says both the growing demand for electricity and falling costs for wind and solar power are seeing the continent look for sustainable energy solutions.

Some 1.8 gigawatts of capacity – excluding large hydroelectric power plants – will be added in 2014, BNEF said in a statement. Investment in countries including South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia is estimated at $5.9 billion this year, and may reach $7.7 billion in 2016. The average annual investment from 2006 to 2011 was just $1 billion.

Victoria Cuming, a BNEF analyst, said in the statement: “What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries, and the potential for further growth.”

Geothermal, wind and both small- and utility-scale solar projects will lead the way as “renewables can represent a cost-effective alternative, particularly compared to diesel generation but also to power stations burning coal or gas”, the statement read.

About 3.9 gigawatts of renewable energy, mostly wind and solar, is estimated to be installed in South Africa from 2014 through 2016. Over that period, Kenya is expected to add 1.4 gigawatts while Ethiopia will install 570 megawatts of primarily geothermal and wind capacity.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Doom in New York at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at Jim Efstathiou Jr., Carlos Caminada

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