Clean Power

Published on December 13th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha

17

Sudan Government To Invest $213 Million In Wind Energy Project

December 13th, 2014 by  

Flag_of_SudanSudan seems to be getting ready to play catch-up with several other African countries tapping renewable energy to strengthen their electricity sectors. Sudan has announced a large-scale wind energy project for this purpose.

The government in Sudan has decided to invest $213 million to set up the 100 MW wind energy project by 2019. The United National Development Programme (UNDP) will contribute $4 million to the project. The plan includes implementation of a 5 MW project by the end of 2015, which will subsequently be expanded.

Sudan is blessed with significant wind energy resources. The average monthly average wind speed has been measured at 8 meters/second in the northern region of the country and along the Res Sea coast. According to the UNDP, the Sudanese government needs to implement investor-friendly policies to effectively tap these rich resources. The UNDP has urged the government to consider implementing feed-in tariff policies to attract private power project developers to the country.

Renewable energy can play a critical role in increasing electricity access in Sudan. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), less than a third of Sudan’s population had access to electricity in 2011. About two-thirds of the electricity is generated from hydropower resources, while one-fourth comes from fossil fuels (diesel and fuel oil).

Hopefully, the government, with help from international agencies, will implement policies that attract private investment in renewable energy investment. In 2010, Dubai-based Omene Energy had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up 500 MW of wind energy capacity, in blocks of 100 MW. The Ministry of Electricity and Dams of Sudan is also looking to expand the development of renewable energy with a focus on wind energy and has awarded contracts to international companies for the development of wind projects in the country.


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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



  • Audit opinion

    Wind first Solar second. Solar really requires an end user particularly one able to generate foreign exchange to repay investors in a country short of foreign exchange. Africa Re is leading an alliance of cement and oil industry companies in pre feasibility work on solar now costs are making sense in the Chad, North Darfur, Khartoum, Atbara, Port Sudan corridor. Solar will really fire up once domestic production of solar panels commences and the financial conumdrum is solved. Power output is some 2.5GW and demand probably 4GW the outlook is to double to 8GW with 20% solar so thats 1.6GW.

    Smart solutions will lead the way for example householders in the 5-10m Khartoum conurbation can install 2 solar panels but in the future might have the option to install 8 solar panels in a utility scale solar scheme and receive a credit on their bill.

    • Bob_Wallace

      What are end-users not connected to the grid using now for light? Kerosene? Batteries?

      If so, are those produced in-country or sourced from outside?

      If from outside then money is already flowing out of the country. Micro-solar costs far less than lighting with kero/batteries over the long term. That would slow the outflow of money.

  • China windturbine manufacture

    It is real good news. Average wind speed of 8m/s is perfect for wind turbines, especially for small wind turbines.

  • Ronald Brakels

    $2.13 a watt is pricy for 2019, but such is to be expected, I suppose. ‘Tis not a mature market.

  • JamesWimberley

    Sudan has precisely one river, though it’s a big one. You can’t dam the Nile incrementally, it’s a megadam on nothing. There is probably an agreement with Egypt of the flow that would complicate any such project.

    Striking that the Sudan shows so little interest in solar. The country is run by urban Arabs, and ignores or oppresses its nomads and farmers, many of whom are black. Wind can be controlled by the elite, not so distributed solar.

    • Larmion

      Sudan has several major rivers, generally mountain streams or tributaries of the Nile.

      The Tekezé river already hosts a 300MW dam in its Ethiopian part and has room for small hydro in the Sudanese section. The Greater Angareb is home to several irrigation dams that could be fitted with small (10-50MW) turbines. Several other rivers like the Rahad also offer some potential.

      A 150MW dam on the Atbara river is currently under construction and a 10MW dam has been operating since the ’60s.

      Meanwhile, the Nile itself has room for at least 5 further 300MW dams in Sudan alone even if the upstream countries fully exploit their own potential.

      Africa is, together with the Himalaya, the final frontier for hydro. It has massive untapped potential for everything from megadams to micro-hydro from the southern fringes of the Sahara all the way to South Africa.

      I agree with you on the solar part, although the comment about black vs Arab should be a nuanced: the poor nomads you refer to are generally Arabs too – Africans are mainly farmers. It’s more accurate to speak of a Khartoum elite than an Arab elite: Arabs near the Red Sea have suffered as much violence and oppression than any black group.

      • Will E

        Egypt run dry with all them dams and irrigation.
        Solar is plug and play.

        • Larmion

          Quite the contrary. Today, a lot of Nile water is stored in upper Egypt’s Lake Nasser (at the Aswan dam). Storing a huge amount of water in the middle of the desert is insane; Egypt loses a large part of its allocated water through evaporation.

          As hydro-electric dams are being built upstream on the tributaries of the Nile (especially the Blue and White Nile), more water will be stored in the cooler highlands where evaporation losses are more limited.

          On a totally unrelated point, Egypt should actually get less water than it gets today. The Nile Treaties that govern the allocation of water were drawn up decades ago, back when the upstream states where still sparsely populated, destitute backwaters.

          Today, Sudan and especially Egypt get a far greater share of the Nile’s water than is warranted by the size of their economy or population. Attempts to review the treaty have so far failed.

      • JamesWimberley

        Thanks for the correction on the rivers, and confirmation of the diplomatic obstacles to dam building.

        One problem for hydro that élites must consider is the timescale. Outages are unpopular, among urban middle classes who are typically more influential than farmers, even in autocracies. In countries with rapidly rising demand, meaning most developing countries, keeping the lights and TVs on is a political imperative. Politicians will prefer power sources that can come on stream in 2 years (wind) or one (solar) to those that take a decade to plan and build.

        It looks as if Sudan has several affordable options for getting early to sustainability, if it chooses to.

    • Will E

      why the fuz of dams to be blown in war time see iraque.
      solar can be massive in Sudan. start small grow big.

      • Larmion

        Sure, solar can be big and surely will become so. But to think that solar can replace a cheap, fully dispatchable and highly reliable source of renewable electricity is lunacy.

        As for dams being blown: that happens rarely, if ever. If you want to cut power, it’s cheaper and easier to target electric substations. If you want to flood an entire area, you’re no longer involved in a war but simply comitting random acts of violence.

        No large dams were destroyed in Iraq either during the war or during the subsequent unrest. Quite the contrary: the US Army Engineers carried out critical repair works on dams that where so poorly maintained they were due to burst any second (chief among them the vast Mosul Dam). It’s one of the few good things to come out of the war for Iraq.

  • David in Bushwick

    Something positive from a nation with so many negatives.

  • Larmion

    Great news, but there’s something that always surprises me about this sort of articles: hydropower is always lumped in with fossil fuels and contrasted to wind and solar, almost as if it were a bad thing.

    A country that generates two thirds of its electricity from hydropower generates two thirds of its electricity from renewables. Simple as that. As per the IPCC, hydropower is the single cleanest source of electricity, even after accounting for methane release. And it’s also the cheapest source of dispatchable electricity in most of the world.

    • Matt

      Splitting hydro out from PV/wind makes sense, but it should not be lumped with FF. It makes it easier to see progress. Yes 2/3 hydro is 2/3 clean electric. Oh my 1/4 is diesel and fuel oil, that should be easy to displace with wind/PV and a big cost savings.

    • Michael G

      You are correct, but often the focus is on *adding* renewables. There is a limit to how much hydro you can add, and in developed countries that limit has been pretty much reached, though greater efficiencies etc., can probably add much more. For PV/wind, the limit is so much higher that you want to focus on that potential.

      For many developed countries, the hydro is so much bigger than wind and PV that to lump them together hides how much progress PV/wind has made or has yet to make. For developing countries, it is worth noting how much non-hydro potential there is.

      Also, damming rivers has it’s own consequences for fish and wildlife, not always positive.

      • Larmion

        Sudan still has considerable potential for further hydro additions, but you are of course correct in saying that hydro alone cannot keep satisfying Sudan’s power needs.

        Hydro indeed dwarfs all other renewables combined. And yes, including hydro in renewable statistics shows solar and wind generation is still tiny. That’s not something you should hide, but something you cannot stress enough – it’s an effective counter to the overly optimistic vision green tech sites so desperately try to present.

        As for your last point: only when you build a megadam without proper design and mitigation efforts. Small hydro has few effects on wildlife and the damage from megadams can be mitigated with cheap (compared to overall project cost) and simple measures.

      • Will E

        for Wind and Solar no limit. clean cheap easy

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