Oxford study uses Live Data to warn of limits to African renewables boom

Data trend
12 Jan 2021 | 1 minute read

African Energy Live Data

A new study by the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment predicts that fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy mix as total electricity generation across the African continent doubles by 2030.
Published in Nature Energy, the study draws on authoritative sources – led by data on power generation assets obtained under licence from African Energy Live Data – to warn how Africa’s fossil fuel dependency poses a "potential risk to global climate change commitments".
The study, led by Galina Alova, used state-of-the art machine-learning (based on a gradient boosted tree model built using Microsoft’s LightGBM algorithm) to analyse Live Data’s pipeline of more than 2,500 currently-planned power plants and their chances of being successfully commissioned. It shows that (with considerable regional variations) the share of non-hydro renewables across the continent is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, when fossil fuels will account for two-thirds of all generated electricity.  
Take a closer look at the full study

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What the study had to say about African Energy Live Data

"Live Data is, to the best of our knowledge, the most complete dataset on power-generation assets for Africa currently available, containing information on operating, retired and planned power plants, as well as unsuccessful projects that never reached their commissioning…"

"Live Data has a particularly good coverage of planned and failed projects, even compared with historical asset-level datasets, such as the S&P Market Intelligence UDI World Electric Power Plants (WEPP) Database, considered amongst the most comprehensive of datasets.

As an illustration, although in 2018, WEPP contained data on 225GW of the operating capacity in Africa, close to that of Live Data, it only had 56GW of failed (delayed, cancelled or deferred) and 200GW of capacity under planning or construction, compared with 108 and 347GW in Live Data, respectively."