Africa exploits just 0.01% of its wind energy potential

The African continent can have a total wind capacity of over 59,000GW, a report finds

The Big Zero report

Africa is tapping just 0.01% of its wind energy potential.

A new report by GWEC Market Intelligence suggests in 2020, 821MW of new wind power capacity was installed in Africa and the Middle East, bringing total capacity in the region to 7GW.

The analysis demonstrates South Africa installed 515MW of new wind power capacity last year.

The southernmost country in Africa keeps the top spot in the wind power market in the region with 2.5GW of cumulative wind power capacity installed in the country until now.

However, according to data published by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the wind potential of the African continent alone is more than 59,000GW.

That is enough to cover the entire continent’s electricity demand 250 times, the report estimates.

Feng Zhao, Head of Market Intelligence and Strategy at GWEC, commented: “Although we saw steady wind power growth in Africa and the Middle East in 2020, we are nowhere close to installing wind power capacity at the levels we could be, considering the massive resource potential in the region.

“South Africa continues to be the wind power leader in the region, with North African markets such as Morocco and Egypt increasingly driving growth. However, there are many more countries in the region that have yet to tap into their incredible wind power potential”.

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