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GTA offshore Mauritania and Senegal, BP

African energy in transition – what is the future for gas?

A sustainable future for the continent is necessarily based on renewable energy and storage solutions as the world heads towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but in Africa gas still has a role to play.

A global policy framework driven by the dominant economies of the world may not be what African people and economies need as they strive to shift from dependence on coal, heavy fuel oil, diesel and polluting cooking fuels. African Energy follows the debates and the developments.

South Africa thematic

Has ailing Eskom been left behind in South Africa’s private sector power boom?

The energy needs of the largest energy consumers are now setting the agenda in South Africa, with an extraordinary boom in C&I power procurement that is changing the shape of the ESI.

The opportunities are great but so are the risks, with huge unanswered questions about whether this improvised transition can deliver reliable, low-carbon power for both corporate and retail customers.

African Energy has investigated the main trends in this rapidly evolving situation, and looked at how the generation, transmission and regulatory landscape is likely to evolve in the coming period.

Tanzania transmission, iStock

Transmission investment - can new schemes unlock Africa's power markets?

In every country and region of Africa the addition of more transmission capacity will open new IPP opportunities, allow more wind and solar to be added, will stimulate trade making generation projects more bankable, and of course will bring power to more businesses and people, improving lives and stimulating economic growth.  Detailed planning, better financial models, and improved regulation are finally being put in place at utility, power pool and multilateral institution level. The test is whether serious money will follow.

African Energy is following what could be the single most important phase of African power markets development. 

Green hydrogen, istock

Green hydrogen - yet another scramble for Africa?

Green hydrogen (GH2) prospects in Africa are developing at breakneck speed. But the biggest questions remain unanswered.  

  • Yes, Africa has the resources but can these highly capital intensive projects be made bankable while lenders demand heavy risk premiums on African projects?
  • Can commercial offtake agreements be put in place without penalising more expensive first movers?  
  • And which projects will prevail?  Competition is growing for sites with the best wind, solar irradiation, water supply, logistics and access to market.  
  • If this is yet another scramble for Africa, will it bring sustainable development, unlike the 19th and 20th century quests for physical resources?

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