Millions of Africans do not have access to electricity and renewable energy is proving to the more efficient solution. Just last year, the African Development Bank approved a $324-million loan in support of two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.
Here are AOP’s top ten major renewable energy projects in Africa.
Inga 3 Hypropower Project, DR Congo
The Inga 3 Hydropower Project on the Congo river is the world’s largest proposed hydropower system. The six-phase project aims to develop a continent-wide power system with a number of African countries in participation. It will generate 40,000 megawatts and is expected to begin generation by 2024/2025.
Noor Complex Solar Power Plant, Morocco
The world’s largest concentrated solar power plant is being built now. Noor 1, phase one of three total phases, is already running and produces 160 MW of power, out of a total planned capacity of 580 MW. The project is scheduled for completion in 2018. Morocco plans to increase its renewable power generation by 42 percent by 2020.
Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant, Kenya
This geothermal plant has a capacity of 280 MW. Geothermal accounts for nearly half of Kenya’s power supply. The plant was developed by private company Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen), which produces 70 percent of Kenya’s electricity and operates 31 power plants from hydro, wind and geothermal. The local company recently announced it is breaking ground on the development of two new units of 70 MW each for Olkaria V, with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Lake Turkana Wind Project, Kenya
Expected to be operational in 2018, this 310 MW wind power project will comprise 18 percent of Kenya’s total power supply when it comes online. Google is an investor in this project, acquiring 12.5 percent of the nearly $700 million project from Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark. Lead developers include Aldwych International Ltd. of the UK and KP&P Africa BV of the Netherlands.
The Rwanda Solar Power Field
This 8.5 MW solar power plant (in the shape of Africa) came online in December 2015. The project was financed in collaboration with Power Africa and developed by Gigawatt Global, Norfund and Scatec Solar.
Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, South Africa
This hydroelectric plant in South Africa will be the fourth largest in the country, at 1,100 MW. It is also being constructed by Italian EPC company Salini Impregilo.
Tarfaya Wind Farm, Morocco
This 310 MW wind farm situated on the coast of Morocco commenced operations in December 2014, and was built by GDF Suez and Nareva Holding. The wind turbines were provided by Siemens.
Grand Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia
The Grand Renaissance Dam has been under construction since 2011. Once it is complete, it will be the largest hydropower facility in Africa with 6,000 MW capacity. With a total volume of 74,000 million cubic meters, it will nearly triple Ethiopia’s current electricity generation capacity.
Jasper Solar Plant, South Africa
Saudi-based ACWA Power and California-based SolarReserve broke ground on this 100MW solar plant in September 2016. Google is also an investor in this project, putting $12 million USD towards its development.
Virunga National Park, DR Congo
A mini-grid solar system was built at the park by SolarCity. The mini-grid system for the Virunga community includes 200 solar panels.