30 September 2021
Are you ready for something that will blow you away?
Africa WindPower is the Global Wind Energy Council’s initiative to accelerate the deployment of wind power in the African continent. AWP is an Africa-based organisation, focused on the promotion of zero carbon, cost competitive, wind energy across the African Continent, with the ability to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of the global wind energy industry. AWP combines the expertise and knowledge of the global wind industry with ‘on the ground’ experience and know-how in the region, working closely with the companies and organisations that make up GWEC’s Africa Task Force.
Africa WindPower was created by GWEC to address a clear need for a regional body to offer a platform for dialogue between Africa’s wind industry, with a focus on developers and government stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of scaling up and accelerating wind project development and deployment.
Africa WindPower was founded by the Global Wind Energy Council and is supported by GET.invest, a European programme which aims to mobilise investment in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.
GET.invest is a European programme which supports investments in decentralised renewable energy. The programme targets private sector business and project developers, financiers and regulators to build sustainable energy markets.
Services include market information, a funding database, matchmaking events and access-to-finance advisory. They are delivered globally and across different market segments. The programme is supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, and works closely with initiatives and business associations in the energy sector.
Learn more on the GET.invest website: https://www.get-invest.eu/
Despite an early start in countries that include South Africa (2002), Kenya (2009), Egypt (1993), and Morocco (2000) which began to install and operate wind farms several decades ago, the development of wind energy in Africa in general has been held back by many factors and today seriously lags that of solar PV which is perceived by government energy ministries, national utilities and power system planners as cheap, quick and relatively simple to deploy, while fossil fuel generation sources such as natural gas continue to make inroads in some markets, and coal and hydroelectric power remain a large part of the energy mix. This is despite the fact that new wind resource studies indicate that the resource available is far greater than had been estimated previously. A new study from the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, shows that continental Africa possesses a stunning onshore wind potential of almost 180,000 Terawatt hours (TWh) per annum, enough to satisfy the entire continent’s electricity demands 250 times over.
Still, there is a massive investment appetite for wind energy both from the private sector and multilateral financial institutions (MFIs). However, there is a lack of both investable projects, and a lack of seed capital needed for early stage developers to get projects off the ground and to reach the stage where a wind project is considered bankable. These projects often have significant potential to create a ‘demonstration effect,’ crucial to addressing key barriers and to help develop lasting and sustainable markets for wind energy development in Africa.
Wind clearly has a much bigger role to play in Africa’s energy transition than is currently being acknowledged, because of its affordability, complementarity and scalability compared to other energy sources and the economic benefits it can bring to countries through the creation of local industry. Wind energy is already cost-competitive across the globe, and according to IRENA’s 2030 outlook, the average levelised cost of energy (“LCOE”) of onshore wind is expected to continue declining by 25% from 2018 levels. As a large utility-scale technology, wind energy is capable of supplying a significant portion of a country’s energy mix and is also a natural complement to other leading forms of clean energy in Africa, such as hydropower and solar.
Africa WindPower’s mission is to create a bridge between government stakeholders including energy ministries, national utilities and regulators, project developers, other companies in the wind sector, along with the financial community to drive the uptake of wind energy across Africa as a key source of clean, affordable energy generation, economic growth and solution to climate change.
We believe that the time for a dramatic expansion of wind energy in Africa has come. To make this a reality, we are working with developers with viable projects across Africa and with government stakeholders to develop a more effective and efficient enabling environment for wind energy, that will lead to the growth of a pipeline of utility-scale wind projects in Africa over the long term .
Africa WindPower has identified a crucial need to pool developer feedback on suitable markets for wind energy in Africa, in order to shape targeted and impactful efforts in wind market development.
The role of Africa WindPower is to identify and address these challenges on the private sector wind industry’s behalf, in partnership with government stakeholders and work together to address them with policy and/or financing solutions.
In order to fulfill our Mission, Africa WindPower will:
- Act as a conduit for confidential feedback and intelligence from the developer community and other wind industry participants such as manufacturers and technical consultants
- Prioritise markets based on the presence of favourable conditions and developer activity
- Identify key barriers to project development, including impediments to reaching timely financial close, with the ultimate goal of adding a larger supply of affordable wind power to the grid
- Promote the addition of power capacity across Africa as a matter of urgency, given significant segments of the population are without access to reliable and affordable electricity
Africa WindPower will also work collaboratively with other leading bodies that are active in renewable energy development and specifically the wind energy space. This open approach will allow for coordination with any relevant organisations and serve to ensure complementarity with existing initiatives.
Why WindPower in Africa?
- Africa has begun its transition to a clean energy future, but this process is moving far too slowly with incumbent fossil fuels playing too prominent a role
- With immense resource across the continent, wind is a crucial solution to combat climate change, and address energy access(SDG7) in Africa.
- Right now, wind energy is an affordable, reliable and efficient source of clean energy ready to be integrated into energy systems as a ‘firm’ resource
- Wind energy is a natural complement to other leading forms of clean energy in Africa, such as hydropower and solar, playing a proactive role in balancing the grid
- Across the world, wind is now one of the most cost competitive energy sources and Africa has just embarked on this cost reduction trajectory
- Wind energy offers energy security and independence, sheltering consumers from the volatile prices of energy imports
- Wind energy can be a pillar of sustainable economic growth, through the development of a local industry, creating jobs and sustainable, competitive economies underpinned by clean energy
- The Time for Wind in Africa has come – as a ‘mainstream’ energy technology in other parts of the world, it is time for wind to be embraced by countries across the African continent
Africa WindPower works with:
Public Sector Stakeholders act as the voice of Africa’s wind industry. This includes:
- Owners & operators
- Investors and bankers
- Equipment suppliers and independent engineers
Government Stakeholders are key partners in the development of Africa’s wind industry. This includes:
- Energy Ministries
- National Utilities
- System Operators