Published on August 22nd, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


Africa To See More Renewable Energy Growth In 2014 Than In 2000-2013

August 22nd, 2014 by  

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to see more renewable energy come online this year than it has in the previous 14 years, proof that the region is becoming one of the most exciting markets to watch for renewable energy technologies such as onshore wind, small-scale and utility-scale solar, and geothermal power.

This is according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which predicts that 1.8 GW of renewable energy is set to be commissioned in the region throughout 2014 — a relatively mammoth figure in comparison to previous years.

According to Bloomberg, “the advance of renewable energy in Africa reflects a combination of growing local need for power, and awareness that the cost per MWh of clean options such as wind and photovoltaics has declined sharply over recent years.”

Many analysts, myself included, have highlighted this fact in Africa’s growth — and the growth in other similar regions such as the Middle East and South America. The increase in production throughout much of the rest of the world has created efficient processes and ramped up innovation, creating an efficient and reliable technology. Africa is set to take advantage of these growth benefits, moving away from the traditional idea of burning fossil fuels.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is not new to renewable energy,” explains Victoria Cuming, senior analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “South Africa has been an active market for a few years and there have been occasional large investments in geothermal in the Rift Valley countries.

“What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries, and the potential for further growth.”

Bloomberg predicts that the three largest markets for utility-scale renewable power over the 2014-16 period are set to be South Africa, Kenya, and Ehtiopia.

South Africa is likely set to install 3.9 GW worth of renewables, made up primarily of wind, with smaller amounts of photovoltaic solar and thermal solar. Kenya will install 1.4 GW, made up mainly of geothermal and wind, while Ethiopia will install nearly 570 MW of wind and geothermal.

(Renewable energy figures exclude large hydro-electric projects.)

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I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • Frederik

    I read in the Economist that Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has a capacity of only 4 GW, which is an obstacle for further economic growth. I suppose that there is a lot of opportunity there for renewables.

    • jeffhre

      Did you say obstacle, or opportunity?

  • Calamity_Jean

    This is excellent news, setting up a virtuous circle of more markets > production economy of scale > more markets. And it gives the lie to people who say, “It doesn’t matter what the US does with renewables, developing countries and going to increase carbon emissions anyway.”

    This should embarrass the conservatives of some countries (I’m looking at you, US and Australia).

    • Bob_Wallace

      “It doesn’t matter what the US does with renewables, developing countries and going to increase carbon emissions anyway.”

      I’m on a campaign to inform the world that China cut its coal consumption during the first half of 2014. Our excuses for doing too little are being snatched away from our greedy little hands.

      • JamesWimberley

        Link on China here. Great, great news.
        One thing China does not have to worry about is Koch-type fightback. Underlings do what they are told. “The China National Coal Association is now calling for a 10 percent reduction in second half domestic coal output in many of the main coal-producing provinces.”

        • Bob_Wallace

          Underlings generally do what they are told.

          Sometimes it’s necessary to shoot one or two in order to get everyone else’s attention….

          (That’s hyperbole, for the humor challenged.)

          • Guest

            If anyone thinks China or indeed anywhere else is well organised, I recommend heeding Brakels’s axiom:

            If someone thinks [nation] is following a master plan, it is only because that person does not speak [national language]. A lack of ability that prevents them from understanding that [nation] is just as disorganized as everywhere else.

          • Ronald Brakels

            I tried to delete a joke comment because it wasn’t funny enough (first time that’s happened!) and now turns into a post from “Guest” for some reason. Oh well. One of life’s little mysteries. (No idea if anyone else can see it. If you see a bad joke above this, that’s mine.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            The sky is big and the emperor is far away.

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