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Africa's renewable energy capacity doubles to 62.1 GW in a decade (report)

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 16:10
Africa's renewable energy capacity doubles to 62.1 GW in a decade (report)

(Ecofin Agency) - The report noted that renewable energy sources in Africa now account for nearly a quarter of the total power generation capacity on the continent, yet they represent only 1.6% of the global renewable capacity.

Between 2014 and 2023, Africa's installed renewable energy capacity surged from 32.54 gigawatts (GW) to 62.10 GW, marking a 91% increase over the decade, as per the report released on March 27 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Titled "Renewable Capacity Statistics 2024," the report, however, notes that the continent's share of the global renewable capacity stands at just 1.6%.

The proportion of renewable energy in Africa's total installed power capacity climbed to 24.3% in the past year from 19.4% in 2014. Remarkably, eight African countries now boast a renewable energy share in their energy mix of over 80%. Nonetheless, roughly half of Africa's renewable capacity is concentrated in just five countries: South Africa (10.62 GW), Egypt (6.70 GW), Ethiopia (5.54 GW), Morocco (4.10 GW), and Angola (4.09 GW).


The report also shines a light on the significant role of hydroelectric power, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of the continent's renewable capacity in 2023, thanks to major hydroelectric projects across several countries, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria.

Wind energy in Africa has experienced substantial growth, increasing from 2.39 GW in 2014 to 8.6 GW by the end of 2023, driven by new wind farms in South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt.

Off-grid energy solutions gain ground

Solar capacities have seen the most significant increase across the continent in the last decade, escalating from 1.66 GW in 2014 to 13.47 GW by the end of last year. Leading the solar expansion are South Africa, with 6.16 GW by the end of 2023, and Egypt, with 1.85 GW.


Photovoltaic solar comprised 92% of the continent's total solar capacity by the end of 2023, with solar thermal making up the remaining 8%.

Bioenergy installed capacities advanced by about 38% over the last decade to 1.90 GW at the year's end, while geothermal capacities saw a remarkable 166% growth over the same period, reaching 991 megawatts (MW).

Furthermore, the report reveals that total off-grid renewable energy capacities across all sectors (hydroelectric, solar photovoltaic, wind, etc.) in Africa have almost quadrupled over the past decade, from 335 MW in 2014 to 1,317 MW in 2023.


Worldwide, renewable energy capacities expanded from 1,700 GW in 2014 to nearly 3,870 GW in 2023. Solar and wind power contributed to 98% of the new renewable capacity installed worldwide last year, with solar alone accounting for 73%. However, this global increase features significant regional disparities, with Asia, particularly China, which saw a 63% increase in capacity to 297.6 GW, dominating 69% of the added capacities last year.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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