Solar power and wind power can light up Africa

Polaris solar PV net news: we can use technology to expand energy production, and to meet the energy needs of the general public.

Morocco Ouarzazate near the edge of the Sahara desert, 500,000 parabolic reflector of neatly arranged in the Valley, and moved slowly depending on the position of the Sun. These solar devices cost $660 million in February this year. Follow is Morocco was determined to get the 2020 national renewable electricity generate 42%.

Solar power and wind power can light up Africa?

And in Africa as a whole, a number of countries is also ambitious to develop solar and wind power. But experts doubt that the momentum of new energy development in Africa could bring this land to a cleaner future, around the United States and Europe have walked the road of environmental damage.

“African countries should not suffer from the development of high carbon technology. “The United Nations former Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated that,” we can through the use of new technologies to expand energy production, and to meet the energy needs of the general public. ”

Energy issues

This is a kind of message, not only to Africa, is to the world as such, as electricity demand is exploding. Population growth far exceeds that of other regions in Africa: by 2100, possibly 4 times now. Currently lives in power deficient areas of Africa’s 600 million people will soon be electricity.

But if the electricity is derived from burning coal, oil and gas, it would stifle efforts to slow global warming in the world. However, for African countries that had just begun to build energy infrastructure, a greener path is feasible.

A number of factors are driving Africa’s renewable energy development. More than 1/3 most of the country’s energy comes from hydro, natural environment makes this way of drought are not reliable. Due to the large price fluctuations and increasing regulations, mainly fossil fuel-dependent countries mired in the muck. Meanwhile, the declining cost of renewable technologies. Moreover, the researchers found that solar and wind energy development potential in Africa is much larger than expected, about 3,700 times times the current total electricity consumption.

These people’s growing interest for green energy. Researchers are the best place to plan and build renewable energy projects. Visionary companies are here to invest in solar and wind farms. African Governments, in cooperation with international agencies, in order to attract private companies.

But these are not enough to bring Africa to a cleaner, more electrified future. Planners need more data to look for suitable sites for renewable energy projects. Developers also are worried about the capital here, especially those countries with a history of corruption and political issues. Moreover, these countries also need billions of dollars to strengthen the energy infrastructure.

Even so, the green dream of an unprecedented upswing in Africa. Ireland, Chief Executive of mainstream renewable power company EddieOConnor saw the potential for renewable energy development in Africa. The company is investing in solar and wind facilities under construction in Africa, he called it “entrepreneur unparalleled business opportunities.”

For many African countries, blackouts are a common problem, but the situation is even worse in Zambia. Frequent and prolonged power outages for Zambia’s economy stumbled. For example, the pumps could not provide clean water for Lusaka, the capital city, the factory had to cut production, leading to large numbers of people unemployed.

Zambia’s energy crisis lies in the 35 years of severe drought in southern Africa. Almost all of the country’s electricity comes from hydroelectric power. The countries neighboring Zimbabwe, and South Africa and Botswana also have to reduce capacity. But water shortages get worse. Studies show that global warming will reduce rainfall in southern Africa.

The United Nations Environment Programme issued a report, a bad supply situation in many African countries, a large number of people, especially in rural areas without access to electricity, environment, rural areas south of the Sahara, only 2% and 5% family can be connected to the power grid. This severely restricted the overall development of the African economy.

However, renewable energy or helps fill the gaps. Since wind and solar project construction will be much faster than nuclear energy. Also, green energy installations with the increasing fragmentation of demand expansion.

Obstacles and opportunities

The 15th session of the African Ministers of environment held in March this year the high-level meeting, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Achim ˙ Steiner said, renewables help to solve the power issues that beset Africa has for a long time, thus providing opportunities for leap-forward development in Africa.

At present, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco and South Africa are building renewable energy facilities, but they faced one of the biggest obstacles is the lack of data.

United States energy GraceWu pointed out, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, for example, in Africa the largest wind and solar resource maps there is not enough information to help businesses choose the best site for new energy projects.

Wu co-authored a report on the planned renewable energy in 21 African countries. The project is funded by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Abu Dhabi international renewable energy agency (IRENA) conducted jointly. “This is by far the most comprehensive mapping of these African countries. “She said. Highlights include the country’s solar, wind, and power transmission infrastructure and power projects will be close to customers, and whether they will cause social or environmental damage and other factors.

“IRENA-LBNL research is the only consistency method research in large parts of Africa. “Wu said. High resolution measurement of wind and solar energy resources are usually by government researchers or companies, but their strict control over data. Berkeley team uses Finland Vaisala environmental monitoring company to purchase satellite data and ground measurement unit, later by IRENA global renewable energy Atlas discloses these data.

The team also includes geospatial data-roads, towns, the location of an existing power line as well as other factors, these factors may affect the energy projects are invested where decisions.

Another IRENA report shows absolutely huge number of green energy could be used in Africa. The report combines 6 regional research, found that the region has 300 million megawatts of solar PV potential and more than 250 million megawatts of wind power. However, at present in terms of scale, even if all plant running, the entire African continent can produce electricity by 2015 only 150,000 megawatts. And solar and wind power accounted for only 3.6%.

World Bank senior energy specialist Oliver Knight pointed out that energy management assistance scheme, to wind resource assessment is a surprise. While it has long been realized that Africa has great potential for solar energy, but about 10 years ago, very few local decision makers recognize the force of the wind. “People will tell you that no wind in this area in East Africa. ”

At present, the World Bank is also conducting their own research. They will target State selected sites at least once in every 10 minutes to assess wind speed and solar radiation. The project would require the Government to add their own geospatial data and to combine all the information into a user friendly format. “This is provided free of charge and does not require advanced technical knowledge. “The Knight,” said a middle-ranking civil servants in developing countries should be made through the Internet can really begin to understand these situations possible. ”


In South Africa the arid Karoo, shiny white wind turbines were turning slowly. In July this year, mainstream renewable power company began operation of the project online. 35 turbines as South Africa brought 80 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the electricity demand of 70,000 families.

Noupoort wind farm in South Africa over the past 4 years the 100 to mount wind and solar projects. South Africa has been poised, prepared in the renewable energy field in open territory.

South Africa Council for scientific and industrial research environmental scientist LydiaCape and his colleagues are developing plans for renewable energy and transmission network development. They assessed the potential areas of socio-economic and environmental impacts.

Later, the Government accepted the recommendations of the Cape team, designated 8 renewable energy development area. Cape said that region with a total area of about 80,000 square kilometers, here have been given renewable energy projects and transmission network needs environmental permits.

In fact, to optimize energy structure, and early in 2010, South Africa enactment of the integrated renewable energy plan. In accordance with the planning requirements, and by 2030, South Africa national total power installed capacity will reach nearly 90,000 MW, thermal power installed capacity share 45.9%, renewable electricity generation capacity (not including hydropower) ratio rose to 21% beginners.

According to reports, in addition to solar power, but South Africa’s wind power market has huge potential. South Africa scheduled for completion in five rounds before 2015 3320 megawatts of wind power tender and sign the power purchase agreement. By August 2014, three rounds of wind power tender has been completed before 1983.5 MW, and the first round of projects already grid-connected power generation.

In addition to South Africa, but other African countries in developing renewable energy. Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission said that by 2016, the solar power is expected to account for Kenya more than half of total domestic electricity generation. Senegal’s Government set up a special Department to promote biofuel crop cultivation, establishment of solar energy Commission of Nigeria, Ghana began to build solar power plants by 2030, renewable power is expected to exceed 50% of the electricity supply in West Africa.

As Ghana Energy Commission inspector Prosper Amuquandoh said, despite the challenges, but with prices of new energy technologies, “broad prospects”.

Original title: the wind and the Sun can light up Africa

Posted in Solar Charger.