08 November | 1200 GMT | 1400 EET
According to the latest data released by GWEC Market Intelligence, the global offshore wind industry had its second-best year ever in 2020 installing over 6 GW of new capacity, keeping growth on track despite the impacts of COVID-19 felt in other energy sectors. This growth was driven by a record year in China, which lead the world in new annual offshore wind capacity for the third year in a row, and installed over half of the new offshore wind capacity globally last year.
A new study for IFC, a member 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. The analysis, carried out by Everoze, finds that 27 countries in Africa have enough wind potential on their own to satisfy the entire continental electricity demand—estimated at 700 TWh annually .
The African continent is set for growth, the population is expected to grow by 1.4% each year until 2030. GDP is expected to grow by 4%. This development is demanding huge investments in infrastructure including the energy markets to keep up with the growth, access to electricity being one of the main challenges African citizens consider to encompass and unlock their growth path. African governments have acknowledged that growth can only be supported through sustainable solutions, which means an obvious opportunity for wind energy. Offering a cost-competitive solution, wind energy has the potential to drive not only the electrification level in Africa (currently only 43% of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity according to the World Energy Outlook 2018 from IEA), but to also support the economic growth and development of African markets.