A new equity fund called the African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 was launched in 2010 with the aim of raising up to USD 1 billion (EUR 0.736 billion) to promote the development of basic infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. Wind power is eligible for funding and may boost the sector in a few key countries. Wind has a huge advantage in the country as it can be used for decentralised power systems and uses no water to generate electricity, Ideal for water-stressed regions.
Most projects in the region are funded by donor aid. Notable planned projects include a grid-connected wind farm in Djibouti developed by the Maple Indian Ocean Resources. The EU has announced an intention to contribute EUR 5 million to a Renewable Energy Co-operation Programme (RECP) which includes a target to build 5,000 MW of wind capacity.
There are plans for an interconnected submarine grid system on the East Coast which would result in countries becoming net importers and exporters of electricity.
Wind power has a lot of potential in remote regions where expensive imported diesel is used for electricity generation.
The best wind resources are located along the coast and in the eastern highlands. A total of 300 MW of capacity is under construction in the eastern highlands countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, making this a very promising region for manufacturers and developers.
Growth in the South African market has been slow with only 2 MW of installed capacity in 2010. Only one commercial wind farm is in operation, the Darling wind farm. However, Eskom, the state utility, estimates that the country needs to construct 40 GW of new generating capacity by 2025. As the country’s electricity generation mix is dominated by coal, there is an incentive to develop low carbon generation capacity.
The country has a 200 MW pipeline with 100 MW funded by the state utility, Eskom, and 100 MW from IPPs.