WINDHOEK, Sept. 20 – Power Africa plans to triple its goal of 10 000 MW and 20 million connections in few Sub-Saharan African countries to 30 000 MW and 60 million connections by 2030.
About 80 projects have reached financial close so, comprising 7 200 megawatts, while three quarters of the projects are renewable projects. In megawatts, about three quarters of those projects are gas projects, Andrew Herscowitz the Coordinator for Power Africa has revealed.
“The reason is that a lot of the large generation projects do involve gas and hydro-power. What we are seeing though is that it is trending up in the size of the renewable projects as well and a lot of countries for the first time are doing solar and wind projects and starting off with smaller projects. And once they do competitive tenders and even noncompetitive deals, the negotiated deals move forward and countries become more and more familiar with the technology, they’re willing to scale up their technology as well,” he said.
He added that Power Africa is heavily focused on trying to move deals forward and generating a lot of deals, initially.
Power Africa has facilitated the financial close of 80 power transactions valued at more than N$14.5 billion, expected to generate more than 7,200 MW of power in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Power Africa has facilitated more than 10 million electrical connections bringing electricity to more than 50 million people.
“We’re also seeing countries that are negotiating much harder on price. It’s positive in that ultimately, the consumer will derive benefit and lower cost of power, but the downside is that a lot of these projects are getting stuck because the actual cost of delivering that power may not be as low as what some of the countries are hoping to get,” Herscowitz said.
On the connection side, Power Africa has witness tremendous growth in the companies that provide solar home systems, the pay-as-you-go models, where people in urban and rural areas are able to get access, not just a simple tower and light bulbs, but to clothing irons and electric razors, televisions, and radio chargers.
Recently, a Southern Africa Energy Program was launched in Namibia with 16 projects currently tracking in Namibia for potential support, ranging from from solar to gas and other types of projects.
“So our team has been going back and forth to Namibia to see what type of support the government would like to help advance their goals of adding new power there, but it still remains in development” Herscowitz said. –