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African renewable demand set to soar in next five years

Frontier Energy will hold its North Africa and Mediterranean E&P event on January 28.
Sunrise over Erg Chebbi dunes, Merzouga, Morocco

Growing demand for renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa should give continent a ‘huge boost’, said senior international energy official.

Paulo Frankl, head of the reanewables at the International Energy Agency (IEA), believes that the demand could drive up cumulative capacity by as much as 70% over a five year period.

Frankl foresees capacity jumping by almost double over the period from 35GW to 60GW.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: “A big chunk of this (growth) is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar … in South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia and wind in South Africa and Ethiopia as well.

“Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules.”

Ethiopia currently has a number of hydropower products under development, inducing the 6000MW Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River.

The new dam construction will generate enough power each year to power a medium-sized city.

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