Sunday, November 24, 2013

12 large-scale hydropower projects set to change the face of Africa

The African landscape is quickly changing as integration where former geographical features shared by countries are turned into avenues for mutual benefit.

One such venture is hydro power generation where Africa has a paradox between plentiful untapped hydropower and other renewable energy resources versus very little electricity access.

Only forty-five per cent of the electricity generation in Sub-Saharan Africa comes from hydropower but only five per cent of the continent hydro-potential has been tapped which makes generation of these resources a major boost to spur development.

Recent studies estimate that 57 per cent of Africans are without electricity which is attributed to poor infrastructure.

In 2012, at the 18th Summit of the African Union, African Heads of State endorsed a set of priority energy projects to be implemented by 2020 as part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA)

  1. The Mphanda-Nkuwa project in Mozambique, which is at the financial closure stage. It will contribute to supply energy both to Mozambique and to South Africa.
  2. The Inga hydropower projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Grand Inga will have to be built in several phases. When fully built, it will transform Africa by providing electricity to a large part of the continent with transmission lines interconnecting several countries.
  3. Hydropower components of the Lesotho Highlands water project Phase II, which will supply power to Lesotho and South Africa.
  4. The Ruzizi III project in Rwanda will provide additional electricity capacity in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. It is the first regional Public Private Partnership (PPP) power project in Africa and is a model for successful implementation.
  5. The Rusumo Falls development. The electricity produced will supply Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
  6. Batoka Gorge: 1.600 megawatts of hydropower  for Zambia and Zimbabwe
  7. Fomi Dam: A 102 megawatts hydropower station will be constructed in guinea to benefit nine Niger River Basin countries.
  8. Great Millennium Renaissance Dam: The aim is to develop a 5,250 megawatt hydropower plant in the Nile Basin to supply electricity to both the local export markets.
  9. Kaleta Dam: A 279 megawatt capacity gravity dam which will produce electricity for Gambia River Basin Development Organization member countries.
  10. Noumbiel Dam: A hydropower and agricultural purpose dam for Bukina Faso and Ghana 
  11. Palambo Dam: Small 30 megawatt hydropower dam that will regulate water flow on Obangui River to benefit Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic.
  12. Sambagalou: 120 megawatt hydropower on Gambia River to offer affordable renewable energy to countries involved.

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