Large-Scale Renewable Energy Power Development Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

A Story About Bankability, Affordability, and Grid Capacity

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This research service on renewable energy (RE) power development opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) provides market drivers and restraints, overview of RE support policies prevalent in the region, ranking of countries offering the best market opportunities as well as a detailed list of operating and RE power projects under development. In addition, the study identifies countries with the most conducive regulatory, political and economic landscape for RE power development.


In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following technologies:

  • solar photovoltaic (PV)
  • concentrated solar power (CSP)
  • wind power
  • geothermal power

Market Overview

Need for long-term sustainability promotes RE sector

The increasing focus on sustainable power generation is driving SSA to move from fossil fuels to RE. The region's large untapped RE resources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal, are further promoting this trend. However, the low bankability of RE projects, limited grid capacity and stability, and the lack of economies of scale (in terms of electricity demand) are holding back the implementation of large-scale RE power projects. The reluctance of some countries in the region to allow the private sector to develop power projects, even though it has been proven to be a more cost-effective strategy, is also hindering the growth of the sector. Government's willingness to involve the private sector and ensure clear policies and regulations for the development of independent power producers (IPPs) will greatly facilitate new RE power projects.

East and Southern Africa are showing the highest market potential. Being the most advanced economy in SSA with high RE targets, South Africa is experiencing a significant amount of investments in new large-scale CSP, PV, and wind power projects. This success is bolstered by the 2011 implementation of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). Following South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, and Botswana present the best opportunities. Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Ethiopia also deserve particular attention for future investment opportunities due to their favourable legislative and institutional framework and governments' inclination to fast-track the development of RE power projects. Burgeoning RE power projects will also drive a green economy and help in creating jobs in related fields such as construction, operation, and maintenance of RE power plants.

Table of Contents

Aim and ScopeAim and ScopeLimitationsMethodologyExecutive SummaryKey FindingsKey Findings (continued)Key Findings (continued)Key Findings (continued)Drivers and RestraintsRenewable Energy Power Project DriversRenewable Energy Power Project Drivers (continued)Renewable Energy Power Project RestraintsRenewable Energy Power Project Restraints (continued)Renewable Energy Support PoliciesDescription of RE Support Policies2015 Outlook of Global Renewable Energy PoliciesAdoption Timeline of Renewable Energy PoliciesEarly 2015 RE Support Policies in SSAHistorical IPP PresenceOfftaker/Sovereign CreditworthinessPolitical and Commercial Risk GuaranteesPolitical and Commercial Risk Guarantees (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—KenyaFiT and Premium Payments—Kenya (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—UgandaFiT and Premium Payments—Uganda (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—TanzaniaFiT and Premium Payments—Tanzania (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—RwandaFiT and Premium Payments—NigeriaFiT and Premium Payments—Nigeria (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—GhanaFiT and Premium Payments—Ghana (continued)FiT and Premium Payments—“Policies In the Making”FiT and Premium Payments—Discontinued PoliciesNational Green Economy StrategyIdentification of OpportunitiesSolar (PV and CSP) Resource PotentialWind Resource PotentialTop 15 SSA Countries for CSP Resource PotentialTop 15 SSA Countries for Solar PV Resource PotentialTop 15 SSA Countries for Wind Resource PotentialSSA Countries with Geothermal Resource PotentialCountry Ranking MethodologyWhy These Factors?Country Ranking Results—RE Support PoliciesCountry Ranking Results—Ease of Doing BusinessCountry Ranking Results—Corruption Perceptions IndexCountry Ranking Results—Political Stability and Absence of Violence/TerrorismCountry Ranking Results—Global Competitiveness Index-Basic RequirementsCountry Ranking Results—GDP (PPP)Country Ranking Results—Electrification RateCSP—Final Weighted Score and RankingPV—Final Weighted ScoreWind—Final Weighted ScoreGeothermal—Final Weighted ScoreTop 5 SummaryTop 5 Summary (continued)Outsiders—Ethiopia and GhanaOutsiders—Côte d’Ivoire and ZambiaLarge-Scale Renewable Energy Power ProjectsExisting RE Power Installed CapacitySelected Operational RE Power Projects Existing RE Power Installed Capacity—ExplainedLimitations Pipeline of RE Projects Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects (continued) Pipeline of RE Projects—ExplainedPipeline of RE Projects—CSP Country BreakdownPipeline of RE Projects—Solar PV Country BreakdownPipeline of RE Projects—Wind Country BreakdownPipeline of RE Projects—Geothermal Country BreakdownAfrica Power Sector 2030—Total Future InvestmentsAfrica Power Sector 2030—IRENA High RE ScenarioAfrica Power Sector 2030—IRENA Low RE ScenarioAfrica Power Sector 2030—IEA Africa Energy OutlookAfrica Power Sector 2030—IEA Africa Energy Outlook (continued)Africa Power Sector 2030—IEA Forecasts CommentsAfrica Power Sector 2030—ComparisonMarket Trends and the Way ForwardMain ChallengesBankabilityGrid Capacity and Electricity AffordabilitySouth Africa REIPPPP ExampleFuture RequirementsNew Financing Scheme—Scaling Solar ProgrammeNew Financing Scheme—Scaling Up RE ProgrammeConclusionsConclusionLegal DisclaimerAppendixList of AcronymsList of Acronyms (continued)List of Acronyms (continued)The Frost & Sullivan StoryThe Frost & Sullivan StoryValue Proposition: Future of Your Company & CareerGlobal PerspectiveIndustry Convergence360º Research PerspectiveImplementation ExcellenceOur Blue Ocean Strategy

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