Revival in HEP interest shows hydropower potential in Africa

There is widespread recognition that baseload power will remain essential for balancing the grid against the additions of intermittent renewable power – particularly in the midst of Africa’s continuing fast-paced urbanisation. Utilising Africa’s massive hydropower potential seems a natural solution, providing baseload power and avoiding the carbon emissions of fossil fuels.

HEPs come with particular challenges, being both capital intensive and come with a myriad of ESG concerns. Two of the most high-profile energy megaprojects in Africa, the Grand Inga Dam and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, provide case studies of how large-scale projects can become politically controversial, protracted, and expensive. Unavoidable externalities such as resettlement and environmental issues have stalled countless hydropower project plans over the years into nonexistence.

According to analysis from the latest edition of Africa Energy, however, there are signs of a revival in investor interest in large hydro projects, with progress seen in major projects, programmes to upgrade existing hydropower infrastructure, and a strong project pipeline, according to projections in African Energy Live Data. “Some momentum is again flowing behind big-ticket HEP,” AE concludes, Read more here.

AIX: Power and Renewables 2022 (16-17 November) will focus on balancing the grid and will also coincide with the last week of COP27, providing a unique platform for robust discussions about the progress of Africa’s renewables landscape.

Managing intermittency and guaranteeing baseload will be a key topic at the upcoming Africa Investment Exchange: Power and Renewables 2022 on 16-17 November. Day one will feature an in-depth discussion on these challenges during the second session.

  • Managing intermittent renewables
  • Calculating least cost – structuring capacity contracts
  • Operating hydro, thermal, and batteries on flexible grids
  • Ancillary service markets

View the entire programme via the event page link below:
AIX: Power & Renewables 2022