Top Renewable Energy Projects Launched in Africa in 2021
Africa has an abundance of renewable energy resources that, with the right investment, could position the continent as a global energy transition leader. Morocco, with its significant solar potential; the Congo, with its hydropower potential; and South Africa, with its modernized regulatory framework that both incentivizes and drives renewable energy uptake all represent growing green energy markets. As the continent progresses into a post-COVID-19 era, and global investors are turning an eye to clean energy projects, Africa is seeing the rise in renewable energy developments. Already, in 2021, several large-scale projects both came online and were launched, consolidating Africa’s position as a clean energy competitor.
NAMIBIA’S GREEN HYDROGEN PROJECT – 5GW
The Government of Namibia has selected HYPHEN Hydrogen Energy as the preferred bidder for the country’s first-ever large-scale green hydrogen project. Located in the Tsau//Khaeb National Park, the $9.4 billion project will help position Namibia as a green hydrogen economy, with HYPHEN being awarded a 40-year timeline to construct and operate the project. During the first phase, expected to enter into production in 2026, the project will create 2GW of renewable electricity generation, with capacity increasing to 5GW within further expansion phases.
CHOLLET HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION – 600MW
On April 12, 2021, the Congo and Cameroon signed a concession agreement with China Gezhouba Group Company for the construction of a $700 million hydroelectric station on the Dja River. With an estimated production capacity of 600MW and project completion expected in 2025, the project will enable the production of much-needed electricity for both the Congo and Cameroon.
DRC SOLAR PLANTS – 200MW
SNEL, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s state-owned power utility, has signed power purchase agreements for two solar plants in the copper belt region of the country. Located in the town of Kolwezi and Likasi, and with an estimated capacity of 100MW each, the two solar plants will cost $148 million and $157 million, respectively.
MOGALAKWENA SOLAR PLANT – 100MW
Pele Green Energy – EDF Renewables consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder to construct a 100MW solar photovoltaic plant at the Mogalakwena mine in South Africa. Comprising part of Anglo American Platinum’s broader strategy to integrate renewable energy with its mining operations, the solar plant will contribute to carbon neutrality at the mine while strengthening operational efficiency.
SHUMBA ENERGY SOLAR PROJECT – 100MW
Shumba Energy has secured investment commitments totaling $950,000 towards the company’s $80 million, 100MW solar project in Botswana. With full funding expected by Q2 2022, the project will represent the largest in Botswana. As the company moves away from fossil fuels, the project marks a significant step in the transition to renewable energy sources.
GHANA’S 8 SOLAR PLANTS – 10MW – 100MW EACH
The Government of Ghana and Bui Power Authority have announced plans to construct eight solar plants in Ghana. The plants will have capacities ranging from 10MW to 100MW each, and will be tied into the National Interconnected Transmission System. Site selection is expected to commence in Q1 2022, with plant capacity determined by size and specifications provided by investors.
HONORABLE MENTION – SOUTH AFRICA’S BID WINDOW FIVE
In 2021, South Africa launched the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program. Bid Window five aims to procure an estimated 2,600MW of renewable energy of which 1,600MW comprises onshore wind and 1,000MW solar. Out of the 100 bidders, 25 were selected by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.