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.