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Analysis: Enel Green Power looks to Africa, Asia

ITALY: Enel Green Power (EGP) has begun building another stage of its emerging markets strategy on the African continent.

It is starting out in South Africa, where it is currently constructing two wind farms with combined capacity of 199MW and was recently awarded a further 425MW of wind power projects in the fourth round of the country's renewable tender programme.

When added to 10MW in existing solar capacity and additional solar capacity assigned through the tender process, EGP already has its sights on 1GW of renewable energy in the country.

"South Africa has growing electricity demand, an abundance of more than one renewable source and a stable regulatory framework," said EGP business development head Antonio Cammisecra.

Since announcing plans for six rounds of renewable tenders six years ago, the country has also helped to reassure investors by sticking to schedule for the rollout of new capacity.

EGP plans to leverage on its position in South African to expand in Sub-Saharan African and is scouting out wind and other renewable opportunities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Namibia. Besides wind, the company is active in solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass, and targets markets where it can develop more than one renewable source.

Kenya, which also has geothermal and solar potential, could be the first country in the region in which EGP develops wind projects. "Kenya is more advanced in terms of regulation, with a relatively acceptable feed-in tariff." said Cammisecra.

"There are problems with the grid that need to be resolved. The best wind is found in the most remote areas, where the grid is most fragile," he said.

In North Africa, EGP and consortium partners including Siemens are among investor groups bidding in an 850MW "winner takes all" tender to construct five wind farms in Morocco, for which the outcome is expected to be announced later this year.

In Egypt, the company is seeking to qualify two 50MW wind projects for the country's FiT. Tunisia and Algeria are also on EGP's radar.

Meanwhile, EGP is also hoping to get a foothold in Turkey's wind energy sector, after being assigned 23MW of solar photovoltaic capacity in a recent tender. It submitted 18 wind projects totaling more than 1GW by an end-April deadline ahead of grid capacity auctions for a total of up to 3GW in wind capacity expected for early next year.

On the Asian front, EGP is actively seeking opportunities in both wind and solar in India. Through a joint venture with Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, it plans to evaluate Asia Pacific renewable business development opportunities in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.

As it looks to new areas of the globe, Latin America — the first pillar of EGP's emerging market strategy — will continue to feature heavily in growth plans. EGP already has roughly 1GW of Latin American wind farms, primarily in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, and is building its first 50MW wind farm in Uruguay.

EGP has built up a robust pipeline of wind projects in Peru to participate in the next, long-awaited auction while evaluating some bilateral contract possibilities and is developing greenfield projects in early-stage wind market Colombia in a longer-term investment perspective.

Just over half of the €8.8 billion in growth expenditures and 44% of the additional 7.1GW in capacity EGP plans in 2015-19 are earmarked for Latin America

But new markets like South Africa are also clearly playing an increasingly important role. EGP is expecting to trace about one-fifth of new capacity and growth expenditures through 2019 to countries outside of Latin America, North America and its home base in Europe.

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