Africa’s Island Nations Setting a Renewable Energy Example
Wednesday, September 3, 2014  Printer Friendly Email this article

Alternative Energy Africa has focused on the efforts of the continent’s island nations in regards to scaling up renewable energy power generation projects so much so, that our November/December issue’s regional focus “Frontiers” is packed with information coming from Cape Verde, Mauritius, and Seychelles. It seems we are not alone.

The UN Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference, held from September 1-4, revealed how Africa’s island nations are setting the bar for other developing countries facing similar issues. In Cape Verde grew from the least developed countries (LCDs) list in 1997 mainly by new development and economical strategies. It developed an ambitious renewable energy strategy, aiming to derive 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

In Seychelles, fuel currently accounts for about 25% of the country’s total net imports; however, wind power could present a viable alternative. The country is looking to meet a national target of 15% energy from renewable energy sources by 2030. And a year ago, Emirati firm Masdar and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) launched a 6-MW, eight-turbinePort Victoria Wind Farm which will account for 8% of Mahé Island’s energy capacity, powering over 2,100 homes.

Mauritius has many things in the pipeline, including the latest announcement from Astonfield Renewables. The firm is expanding from East Africa and heading to the island nations, starting with Mauritius. Astonfield won a contract for two solar projects to help the government reach its 10 MW solar PV program.

Lastly, Schneider Electric and DONG Energyannounced an agreement in December to cooperate on a technological and commercial partnership for a more sustainable energy supply of remote islands in Africa. Dong Energy will deploy its virtual power plant technology with Schneider Electric’s distribution grid field devices and management systems. The aim is to create a new platform offering real-time generation and demand forecasting, monitoring, and control.

The Economic Commission for Africa said it was keen to support African SIDS through research and capacity development in identifying sustainable development choices.

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