GWEC: Africa is only using 0.01% of its wind potential
The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Africa and the Middle East region installed 821MW of new wind power capacity in 2020, pushing total capacity in the region over 7GW. While this growth in the region is stable and almost the same level as 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting supply chains and project installation in key markets, wind power’s potential in the region is barely scratching the surface.
Citing an IFC report, GWEC says the African continent alone has more than 59,000GW of technical wind resource potential. This is enough to power the continent’s energy demand 250 times over. But, the current installed wind power capacity in Africa only accounts for 0.01% of this potential. The primary market driving growth in the region is South Africa, which installed 515MW of new wind power capacity in 2020. Senegal came in second place for new capacity last year installing 103MW, followed by Morocco (92MW), Jordan (52MW), Iran (45MW), and Egypt (13MW).
Overall, the total wind power capacity in the region is now over seven GW, which helps to avoid 10.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually – equivalent to taking 2.3 million passenger cars off the road.
South Africa remains the number one wind power market in the region with 2.5GW of cumulative wind power capacity installed in the country. The continued growth of the South African wind market is primarily due to the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme, which has provided a long-term project pipeline for the industry and attracted investors.
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