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Special Report CLEAN ENERGY

GONE WITH THE WIND

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), investments in wind power in Africa are projected to increase twelvefold over the next decade. In February 2015, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reported that some 51,477MW was installed in 2014, an increase of 44% from 2013. These findings were in tandem with GWEC’s survey, which showed that the world’s wind generating capacity increased between 2000 and 2010, from 17,000MW to 200,000MW.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that by 2040, the wind power capacity of the African continent will increase by 12GW. Last year IEA produced the Africa Energy Outlook, which notes that high quality wind resources are to be found in Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Mauritania, Egypt, Madagascar and Kenya. Ethiopia and South Africa also have an developed a serious interest in wind power.

Wind turbines in the Ngong hills, some 25 km south-west of Nairobi, which are owned and run by Kenya’s main power generating company KENGEN.

EGYPT

In March 2015 the Egyptian government and the German technology giant Siemens signed an agreement to build a 4GW combined cycle power plant and install wind power capacity of 2GW. This agreement was an indication of Egypt’s aggressive ambitions to invest in wind energy. It is a strategic pattern that gained momentum in 2008 after the Supreme Council of Energy in Egypt approved that 20 per cent of the total energy produced in Egypt will be sourced from renewable sources by the year 2020.

Of this 20%, some 12% will be from wind sources. The Egyptian government then approved a series of measures to encourage private sector investment in wind energy projects including allocation of land, tax exemptions for investors, financial guarantees, long-term PPAs, carbon credit incentives and comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

Egypt has attracted large investors keen to participate in the renewable energy sector whose total investments are expected to total $30bn in the next few years, with agreements for a 500MW wind project and the Zafarana Wind Power project, which generates 120.7MW.

Camels walk along the road near turbines at Ashegoda wind farm in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, on 28 November 2013. The farm, built by France’s Vergent Group for 230 million euro ($313 million), is the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa with a capacity of 120 megawatts.

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia’s Ashegoda Wind Farm, built at a cost of €210million with a generation capacity pegged at 120MW of power, is among Africa’s largest wind farms. It is in the Tigray region, some 784-km north of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and was unveiled in 2013. Ashegoda Wind Farm is an 84-turbine power plant that was built by the French firm Vergnet SA from funds sourced from Agence Francaise Development (AFD) and BNP Paribas.

The Adama 1 wind power station, which produces 51MW of power, preceded Ashegoda by two years. Adama II, located 98km east of Addis Ababa, had by October 2014 trialled with three wind turbines producing 1.5MW. Funded by the Chinese Exim Bank to the tune of $345m, Adama II was set to be fully operational in April 2015, generating some 153MW from 102 turbines.

According to Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2011-2015), Addis Ababa plans to have an installed capacity of 10,000MW from wind, water and geothermal by 2015. GTP’s target is to tap some 890MW from wind. So far it has achieved 324MW.

MOROCCO

The Tarfaya Wind Farm on Morocco’s south Atlantic coast is said to be Africa’s largest wind farm, boasting 131 turbines. Producing 301MW and built by GDF Suez and Nareva Holdings, some €450m was invested in the project which is sprawled along an area covering 8900ha. Tarfaya’s construction commenced in January 2013 and indicates Morocco’s bold uptake of wind energy with a strict implementation of its wind energy strategy.

By 2020 Morocco intends to have 2000MW of power sourced from wind energy alone. To this end the Moroccan Integrated Wind Energy Project implemented through the Ministry of Energy and Mines hopes to increase wind power in the national energy balance to 14 per cent by 2020. To achieve this target the Moroccan government is installing 10 wind power plants. These are: Tarfaya – already online – (300MW); Akhfenir (200MW); Haouma (50MW); Bab el Oued-Laayoune (50MW), Jbel Khalladi (120MW); Tanger2 (150MW); Boujdour (150MW); Taza (150MW); El BaidaKoudia (300MW) and Tiskrad Laayoune (300MW).

26  New African December 2015

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