Wind could power Africa’s energy demands 250 times over and create jobs lost in the move away from fossil fuels but the continent has only tapped into 0.01% of its potential, wind experts said on Thursday.
Wind projects are growing fast, with 724MW of new capacity added in 2020, bringing the total to 6468MW across Africa – equal to taking more than 2 million cars off the road, said the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which represents the sector.
“Now is the time to urgently scale-up wind power in the region … as a driver of local jobs and investment to power a green economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Emerson Clarke, Africa Task Force Coordinator at the Brussels-based GWEC.
Non-hydro renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, makes up just 3% of Africa’s power supply, according to the University of Oxford, with massive investments needed to unlock its clean power potential.
South Africa has the greatest amount of wind capacity, followed by Egypt and Morocco, GWEC found. South Africa is also heavily reliant on coal, making it one of world’s top emitters of carbon dioxide, a key driver of climate change.