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2014 to be Incredible Year for Renewables in Africa

A wind turbine in South Africa.

There’s been a lot of conversation surrounding renewable energy in Africa as of late. From the leadership summit in Washington earlier this month to the Climate Investment Funds investing of $300,000 each for 9 separate countries, Africa is getting quite a bit of attention in the sector as efforts are ramped up to increase energy accessibility through sustainable tech.

Turns out, it’s working.

Rising demand in Africa and falling costs for solar and wind are driving renewable energy projects across the continent. So much so that 2014 will see more renewable energy projects commissioned than 2000-2013 combined.

Roughly 1.8 GW of capacity will be added in 2014 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Average investments for 2014 in countries are estimated at $5.9 billion and are estimated to jump to $7.7 billion by 2016.

“What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries, and the potential for further growth,” Victoria Cuming, a BNEF analyst, said.

Geothermal, wind, and solar are expected to continue growing as oil and gas reliance falls. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s also currently more cost effective.

3.9 GW of renewable energy—mostly wind and solar projects—is supposed to be installed in Africa from 2014 to 2016. Two of leading countries are Kenya, which is expected to add 1.4 GW, and Ethiopia, which is expected to add 570 MW of geothermal and wind. 

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