Take a Sip from Africa's Energy Cocktail

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SOLAR

1.       Today, solar PV is a 32 GW business, worth in the order of a hundred billion dollars per year.  In 2012, it passed a major landmark: 100 gigawatts had been installed worldwide.

2.      Less than 1.5% of the trade in solar comes to Africa, with most of those solar panels are bound for South Africa.

3.      Why are countries like the UK, with meagre resources that amount to less than a third of the equatorial sunshine that Africa enjoys, installing more than the entire African continent?

4.      In the mid-1990’s the green party in Germany succeeded in getting their Government to invest in support for on-grid solar power. This is what is needed. Laikipia County can consider being a leader of on-grid solar as it will be unprecedented.

WIND

1.       Bubisa wind corridor in Marsabit County, which is in northern Kenya, has one of the strongest wind flows in the world.

2.      The Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium has already started building what will be Africa’s largest wind farm. Once complete, the farm will provide 300MW of low cost power.

3.      Germany’s onshore wind capacity in 2013 was a staggering 33,730 MW. In the same year, four German states had enough wind capacity to meet over 50 percent of their electricity needs.

4.      The first half of 2014 saw the installation of 1,723 megawatts, which was a 66 percent growth compared to 2013. All these shows the immense potency of wind energy and proves that its a viable investment destination globally. It can and should happen in Laikipia. The key is to make it on-grid, as opposed to off-grid.

BIO-FUEL

1.       Kenya could save $71 million per year by substituting 12 percent (10 percent of gasoline and 2 percent of diesel) of its imports with locally produced biofuels.

2.      Kenya could produce 27,400 MT (32 million liters) of biodiesel annually utilizing 50,000 hectares of land. Some of the main feedstock for biodiesel include castor, croton, rapeseed, jatropha and sunflowers.

3.      Huge demands for corn-based ethanol in the United States and palm-based biodiesel in Europe have added pressure on already tight world food supplies and contributed to the clearing of virgin rainforests in Southeast Asia.

4.      The key lies in ensuring that these feedstock do not interfere with food crops in any way.

GEOTHERMAL

1.       Kenya has set out very ambitious targets for geothermal energy. It aims to expand its geothermal power production capacity to 5000 MW by 2030, with a medium-term target of installing 1500 MW by 2017.  

2.      It is estimated that the private sector will need to cover approximately 40-50 % of the required USD 20 billion investments to reach the 5,000 MW goal for geothermal, compared with the historical 10-15% level.

 

3.      There is a critical need to attract private actors to co-invest in geothermal. For this to happen, there is need to improve the institutional and regulatory processes for the private sector to enter efficiently.

Environmental Africa

Environmental Africa uses creative writing to share Africa's Sustainability Promise and Plight

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