Though the majority of African countries have developed relatively robust institutional frameworks for the regulation of their electricity sectors, much work remains in strengthening regulatory independence, says the Electricity Regulatory Index for Africa (ERI) – a crucial new report by the African Development Bank. The Report, released on the sidelines of the 2018 Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, measures the level of development of regulatory frameworks in 15 African countries and examines their impact on the performance of their respective electricity sectors. ERI also identifies areas in which improvement is most needed in Cameroon, CÔte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
“The main goal with the ERI is to incite key stakeholders in the African power sector to address regulatory performance and the gaps identified in the study,” said Amadou Hott, Vice President, Power, Energy Climate and Green Growth Complex at the African Development Bank.
First the good news. Analysis of the 5,300-plus operating, under-construction and planned generation plants now recorded by African Energy Live Data shows installed capacity on the continent will increase by almost 50% from 2018 to 2022, should all announced commercial operations dates be met. The majority of the growth will come from gas and liquid fuel-fired projects, but investment in renewable energy (RE) is increasing quickly.
It is of little surprise that Africa’s largest economies and most populous countries have the largest amount of power generation under construction. With the exception of Ethiopia – which is developing the 6 GW Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (Gerd), East Africa has relatively few megawatts under construction, particularly in troubled areas such as Somalia and South Sudan. However, the region’s ambitious transmission plans point to considerable potential for power trading and, away from established grids, East Africa has proved the crucible in forging innovative off-grid solutions, as it has for other transformative technologies such as mobile banking.