AFRICA INVESTMENT – Africa turns to sunshine to meet surging power demand


By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura



There is also a movement on the world’s poorest continent towards green alternatives such as geothermal, solar and wind, with some countries using incentives such as decades-long power purchase agreements to entice independent producers.

Some are also working on legislation to govern purchases of solar power from small producers. Kenya is piloting a metering project with privately run Strathmore University to import surplus electricity from a 600kW roof-top plant.

In Rwanda, U.S.-based Gigawatt Global connected an 8.5 MW farm on rolling green hills east of Kigali to the grid earlier this year. The $24 million farm now accounts for 7 percent of Rwanda’s power supply.

Gigawatt Global’s Sarah Halevi said the company was seeing strong demand in both west and east Africa. The company plans to build 200MW within the next 18 months in Nigeria and is targeting a 1000MW pipeline by 2020. (Editing by Ed Stoddard and Catherine Evans)

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