Few markets to push West African wind by 2030

WEST AFRICA: A small number of countries will drive wind capacity growth in West Africa to 1.6GW by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), up from just the 9MW operating in the region today.

Irena predicts in its central scenario just over 1.6GW of wind capacity to be installed in West Africa by 2030

The new ‘Planning and prospect for renewable power: West Africa’ report by Irena outlines three scenarios for clean energy development in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In its central scenario of regional renewable energy targets, Irena predicted approximately 1.6GW of installed wind capacity could be developed by 2030.

Meanwhile, its lower reference scenario, without targets, predicted 1.5GW of installed wind capacity, while its high scenario, which uses country-specific targets, shows almost 1.7GW installed by the end of the next decade.

Unsurprisingly, solar and hydro generation is set to dominate the bloc’s clean energy output in the coming decade. "…due to the nature of the wind resource in West Africa, wind capacity deployment is less widespread, with smaller – though nationally significant – amounts concentrated in Senegal and Niger", the report said.

Irena predict 500MW of wind in Niger, which could see capacity factors of 38.2% — the highest in the region, according to the report.

Irena added a 30MW facility is being planned in the country, with the earliest online date of 2020. Senegal, meanwhile, could have approximately 750MW of wind capacity installed by 2030, Irena predicted.

It already has the 158.7MW Taiba N’Diaye site, which has been financed by Lekela Power

Irena also suggested Ghana could have a sizeable wind potential, though massively outweighed by solar. It said Ghana could see around 250MW of wind capacity installed by the end of the period.