Africa has the highest percentage of untapped technical hydropower potential in the world, with only 11% utilised. Although competing with fossil fuels, hydropower is responsible for 86% of all non-fossil fuel energy use, according to the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) 2019 Hydropower Status Report.

This article first appeared in ESI Africa Issue 5-2019.
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The IHA anticipates Africa’s hydropower installed capacity to grow by about 4,700MW over the next two to three years. This growth will undoubtedly be influenced by numerous factors including that of favourable regulatory framework and capital spending. In this article, we profile projects that are geared up to augment the capacity of hydropower in Africa.

In East Africa, Ethiopia has targeted energy access for all its citizens by 2025. Achieving this goal means the country will need to increase power from 4,566MW to more than 17,300MW by the targeted period. This goal could be attained with the assistance of new hydropower, wind, geothermal and biomass projects. In recognising the significant role that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) can play in speeding up the deployment of hydropower projects, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has stepped in through an investment vehicle to channel the much needed financial support.

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the AfDB, has approved a $995,000 grant to support the rollout of a sustainable procurement framework for IPPs in Ethiopia. The SEFA grant is aimed at encouraging private investments into hydropower projects through Ethiopia’s Renewable Energy Programme. It will strengthen the government’s capacity to undertake bankability and technical analysis including feasibility assessments of projects in the hydro priority pipeline. The grant also provides for environmental and social impact assessments, resettlement action plans, and preparation of bidding documents for hydro projects.

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Source: ESI Africa

Categories: Industry News