Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar

Renewable Energy in Africa

The U.S. Department of Energy compiles energy data on most countries around the world, including their domestic use of renewable energy.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-08-08 [SolarAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy compiles energy data on most countries around the world, including their domestic use of renewable energy. The reports are published by DOE’s Energy Information Administration. Cameroon has the greatest potential for hydroelectric power in Africa, along with the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 110 possible sites have been identified, with a combined capacity of 500,000 MW. The country has installed generation capacity of 817 MW, of which 88 percent is hydroelectric and 12 percent is thermal. Renewable energy consumption is at 223 trillion Btu. Cote d’Ivoire generates three-quarters of its power from 0.9 GW of hydroelectric capacity; the remainder is provided by thermal generation. Consumption of renewable energy in 1998 was 119.1 trillion Btu, a decrease of 4.0% from 1997 Nigeria’s capacity of 5,900 MW consists of three hydro and five thermal facilities. The Nigerian Energy Commission and the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria are working on implementing a solar power system to meet the needs of rural villages and communities not served by the NEPA power grid. The country’s consumption of renewable energy is 2,855 trillion Btu, a 6 percent increase. Seventy-eight percent of the electricity in the East Africa Great Lakes Region (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) is generated by hydroelectric plants and 18 percent by geothermal. The majority of the region relies on biofuel for primary fuel and the percentage of inhabitants with access to electricity ranges from 2% in Burundi to 8% in Kenya. Commercial energy resources include coal, natural gas, hydroelectricity, geothermal and oil, but prolonged drought has produced acute power shortages in several countries. Kenya is promoting additional geothermal power, and hopes to increase its production threefold by 2003 when two new geothermal power plants, totaling 72 MW at a cost of $155 million, are completed at Olkaria. Kenya currently generates 0.4 billion kWh of geothermal, 10 percent of its output, and government officials estimate that there is a potential for 2,000 MW of installed capacity of geothermal electricity, second only to New Zealand. In November 2000, China pledged to fund a $180,000 solar energy project to provide energy to rural Kenyan educational institutions over the next two years. U.S. groups donated $600,000 of solar equipment to Uganda and other countries in the region. Ugandan banks also launched a program in July 2000 designed to extend credit to local entrepreneurs needing solar equipment. Other countries examined by EIA include Yemen, Chad and Gabon.