The Economic Case for Wind, Solar Energy In Africa

A New Green World

Ngong Hills Wind Farm in Nairobi, Kenya, sited close to where there is significant demand for electricity (Nairobi) and near existing infrastructure, is a good example of multiple land uses for recreation (a popular hiking area for locals), energy generation, and livestock grazing.
Credit: Grace Wu/Berkeley Lab

To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.

“Wind and solar have historically been dismissed as too expensive and temporally variable, but one of our key findings is that there are plentiful wind and solar resources in Africa that are both low-impact and cost-effective,” said Ranjit…

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