With targets to ensure that renewable energy comprises 70% of the country’s energy matrix by 2025, Angola is steadily positioning itself as a top performer in the renewable energy space. Currently, Angola’s electrification rate is below 40% but the southern African country has plans to increase this rate to 60% by 2025 and solar energy has a key role to play. In addition to creating sustainable energy supply, solar energy projects will not only continue to improve electricity access but significantly contribute towards a more positive economic outlook. In this respect, the government of Angola plans to expand its efforts in generating solar power, with five top projects having been identified.
Off-Grid Solar Energy Systems: 600 MW
To improve electrification rates in rural areas, the Angolan Ministry of Energy and Water has embarked on plans to install 30,000 solar systems to generate up to 600 MW of electricity. With completion expected by late 2022, the project emphasizes the participation of the private sector. The project is backed by a $1 million loan secured by the government in 2018 from the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa to finance the Angola Renewable Energy Program – an initiative intended to improve Angola’s access to electricity and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Biopio: 188 MWp
US-based solar project development company, Sun Africa, is spearheading a 370 MW solar power initiative comprising seven separate projects, of which the 188 MWp Biopio project represents the largest. At a cost of $650 million, the project is being funded by the Swedish Export Credit Corporation, South Korean insurance corporation, K-sure, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Upon completion, the project will electrify 239,222 houses.
Bay Full: 96.7 MWp
The 96.7 MWp Bay Full solar project by Sun Africa is located in the coastal town of Baía Farta in the Benguela province of Angola. Covering an area of 186 hectares and comprising 261,230 solar panels, the project will generate an estimated 96.1 MWp of electricity and will significantly reduce reliance on diesel in the province.
Caraculo PV Plant: 50 MWp
Italy’s Eni, and Angolan national oil company, Sonangol, have reached a final investment decision through its joint venture Solenova for the development of a 50 MWp solar plant in Angola. The plant will be located in the sunny city of Caraculo, situated in the Namibe Province. Operations for the first phase of the project are expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2022, whereby 25 MWp of solar power will be brought online. The project will not only help reduce the reliance on diesel for power generation but will improve access to electricity and water for the local population.
Quilemba Solar Project: 35 MWp
Located in Angola’s Huila province, construction for the 35 MWp Quilemba solar plant is set to commence in 2022, with commercial operations expected to kick off in 2024. The project is expected to cost an estimated $82 million, with French independent power producer, Total Eren, Angola’s Sonangol EP and Angolan developer, Greentech, partnering to finance, construct and operate the plant with an ownership stake of 51%, 30% and 19%, respectively.