About Wind Energy in Africa
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Although much of Africa lies within the equatorial belt which has a lower wind resource compared to countries trade winds prevalent in the latitudes of Europe and North America. However, there is considerable potential for large scale development in the north and south of the continent and still the possibility of small scale projects in the central region.
In 2002 there was 148 MW of installed capacity for wind power generation on the African continent, a mere 0.5% of the global total. A study published by the European Wind Energy Association on global markets for wind energy expects the growth of wind power to reach 150 MW per annum by 2007, with the installed capacity between 620 and 1000 MW, depending on market conditions.
Factors that boost the prospects of the wind market in Africa include a high future demand for electricity generating capacity in the region, and the enthusiasm of international donors to invest in clean energy schemes. However, the political priorities of governments, their policies on energy, electricity and climate change, as well as their ability to act on such policies remain a huge issue for wind energy projects in all African countries.
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