International Renewable Energy Developers Look to Invest in Sub-Saharan Africa


CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- International renewable energy (RE) power developers are looking to invest in Africa as a result of the continued success of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and the global decline in RE technology costs. RE suppliers are more specifically looking to explore opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa due to the surplus of RE stocks and services globally, the acute power supply deficit in almost every country of sub-Saharan Africa, and abundant RE resources on the continent.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Large-Scale Renewable Energy Power Development Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa [http://ow.ly/TkYD0] finds that opportunities for the development of grid-connected solar, wind, and geothermal power projects exist in South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The Ivory Coast and Ghana, despite not appearing in the top-five, have also been identified as important countries for their large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) potential. Solar PV is by far the most popular technology in development, followed by wind, geothermal and concentrated solar power (CSP).

"Certain governments across Africa are striving to frame clear regulatory and institutional frameworks in order to rapidly deploy RE power technologies as they have recognised the potential for large-scale RE development," said Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Systems Industry Analyst Celine Paton. "Prominent challenges to these efforts, however, include the bankability of the projects, limited grid capacity and the affordability of electricity. Poor long-term planning often compels governments to implement expensive short-term solutions."

Furthermore, the market will require creative funding schemes that will improve the bankability of RE power projects. Development finance institutions, like the International Finance Corporation with its Scaling Solar Programme as well as the Climate Investment Funds' Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Programme (SREP), are already moving in this direction.

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Photo Credit: International Rivers

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