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» 08.02.2010 - $700 million secured for Climate Action
» 02.02.2010 - "Green Fund" for climate change financing
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» 19.01.2010 - Online consultations to help poor nations’ energy strategy
» 15.12.2009 - Clean energy fund for poor countries launched in Copenhagen

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Rising electricity demand boosts the African wind turbine market, study

afrol News, 14 January - A study on African Large-Scale Wind Turbine Market, has found that the market earned revenues of over $148.4 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $424.3 million in 2015, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The study which focuses on product segments of the large wind turbine market, such as the 600kW, 660-850kW and greater than 850kW, found that over the past five years, higher-than-anticipated economic growth in African states has led to a rapid increase in electricity demand and renewed interest in alternative forms of power generation.

"As a result of public pressure to provide reliable power supply, governments in Africa are investing more resources into exploring renewable energy for power generation," said Frost & Sullivan Energy Research Analyst Sipha Ndawonde. "The success of the wind power markets in Europe and the United States has convinced many governments that wind power can assist in alleviating some of the power shortages in the continent."

Wind power projects between 120MW and 300MW have been announced in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa. In North Africa, the Zafarana wind site in Egypt continues to increase its installed capacity, and interest is growing in the Algerian, Tunisian and Moroccan wind power markets, the study noted.

The Frost & Sullivan analysis however said a major challenge to market expansion is that the power sector in many African countries is still regulated by monopoly control and thus, the onus of meeting electricity demand is the sole responsibility of utilities.

"Moreover, there are other restraints such as aging infrastructure, over-reliance on single feedstocks for power generation, and the lack of capital for electrical infrastructure refurbishment," explained Ndawonde, adding, "This has resulted in many countries failing to meet the rising electricity demand."

The company said strategic consultation among equipment suppliers, project developers and government institutions on key issues such as grid capacity will promote the market prospects, also adding that the level of government support for renewable energy projects will also be a key to the growth of the renewable energy power market.

Frost & Sullivan also concuded that despite its potential, the African large-scale wind turbine market is yet to contribute significantly to the power sector in the continent, saying that the low price of electricity generation from traditional feedstocks, such as coal and natural gas, has limited the interest in renewable energy power generation.

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