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Can Wind and Solar Fuel Africa's Future? - Scientific American

Challenges of Wind Energy in Africa


Can Wind and Solar Fuel Africa's Future? - Scientific American The potential of wind energy is being seen. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reports that in 2020, a record 93 GW of new wind capacity was built globally. Over the next five years, 469 GW of additional wind generating capacity, according to GWEC, will be added globally. Despite this global expansion, Africa only contributes 1% of the world’s installed wind capacity due to substantial obstacles, as Energy Project Africa (EPA) has discovered through investments in wind projects of new capacity in the African communities and businesses. These difficulties include the lack of knowledge of wind technology at the national level, macroeconomic and industry conditions that make it difficult to obtain financing for the development of wind initiatives, and connectivity logistics to connect wind power with transmission lines.

Africa’s energy infrastructure is seriously lacking. About half of the population of the continent, 600 million people, does not have access to power. The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of reaching universal access to energy by 2030 would be missed by the continent if considerably faster progress is not made. There are clear benefits to supplying Africa’s electricity needs with renewable energy, such as wind energy. Along with the advantages for the environment, onshore and offshore wind are increasingly able to produce power at a cheaper cost than fossil fuels.

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The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that about two-thirds of the new renewable energy capacity deployed in 2020 produced electricity at a lower cost than would have been possible from the least expensive fossil fuel option. Due to the enormous increase in costs, the cost benefits have since increased even more. It is obvious that realizing Africa’s wind energy potential requires placing turbines where they will benefit local communities and not negatively affect the area’s ecology. It’s also the reason we are working to develop chances for benefit-sharing from wind projects. EPA is well endowed in wind energy to enable the Africa communities and businesses to share in the benefits of wind and solar projects. We look forward to expanding on more than a decade of worldwide investment in wind projects to address the continent’s lack of wind energy and contribute significantly to its sustainable development. By combining a number of World Bank Group services into a single engagement with the goal of developing sustainable markets for scaling Wind, we intend to increase wind energy generation. As we engage in our energy activities to identify bankable, sustainable projects, Africa’s wind potential presents a tremendous challenge for communities and private businesses in Africa.


Ability to compete with conventional source of energy: Wind power must still compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis.  Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past several decades, wind projects must be able to compete economically with the lowest-cost source of electricity, and some locations may not be windy enough to be cost competitive.

Wind Based Land Location: Good land-based wind sites are frequently found in rural areas, away from urban areas where the need for electricity exists. To get the electricity from the wind farm to the city, transmission lines need to be erected. However, the costs of boosting wind energy might be greatly decreased by constructing only a handful of the transmission lines that have already been proposed.

Potential of the Wind Energy to Supply the adequate energy: The development of wind resources may not be the most financially successful use of the property. Alternative uses for the land that might be more valuable than energy generation must compete with land that is appropriate for the installation of wind turbines. Aesthetic and noise pollution could be brought on by turbines. Although wind power plants have less of an environmental impact than conventional power plants, there are concerns about the noise they make and the visual effects they have on the surrounding area.

Powering Africa's sustainable development through wind

Local animals may be impacted by wind farms. Birds have perished after colliding with rotating turbine blades. Through the advancement of technology or by strategically placing wind turbines, the majority of these issues have been fixed or significantly decreased. Research is ongoing to find and enhance ways to lessen the impact of wind turbines on these species, including bats, who have also been killed by turbine blades. Like all energy sources, wind projects have the potential to change the environment on which they are built, which may change the habitat’s suitability.

African communities and companies must rely on the EPA’s expertise in wind energy services since the continent needs consistent and ideal wind energy to support development. Our experts at EPA provide high-quality wind energy services and have undergone comprehensive training in maintaining wind turbines. They are qualified to maintain wind systems and do any required repairs. The EPA conducts automatic and effective system assessments to make sure that wind power plants are evaluated in accordance with international standards thanks to years of field training. Our continual monitoring and inspections ensure timely action when your wind system isn’t operating as it should. Our staff are in charge of all aspects of wind power plant maintenance, ensuring that the plant functions smoothly and that our clients have access to power at all times.

For the private sector, Africa’s wind potential presents both an opportunity and a challenge. EPA, in partnership with international partners, is constantly prepared to construct a bankable, long-term wind project to secure the viability of African enterprises and communities. We are eager to build on our more than ten-year commitment in global wind projects to assist Africa in addressing its lack of wind energy and support the long-term growth of the region. In order to develop sustainable markets for Scaling Wind Power in emerging countries, with an emphasis on Africa, we seek to scale up wind energy by combining a number of World Bank Group services into a single engagement.

Energy Project Africa is a leading renewable energy business in Lagos, Nigeria with expertise in procurement of energy equipment, energy audit and feasibility solutions of mini-grid and solar/wind farms. Supply by EPA provides solar/wind products and equipment for corporate and institutional clients for the project and operational needs. If you need a partner with hands-on local expertise in the renewable energy space or any of our bespoke solutions/services, kindly visit: to learn more.


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