by Samantha James

Sustainable energy sources

East Africa's solution to rising electricity needs is in renewables

East Africa has enough natural resources to turn to for energy
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New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.energy.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Renewable Energy Market in East Africa, predicts that strong economic growth in East Africa will drive greater demand for electricity, both on- and off-grid. This should present an enticing opportunity for project developers and financiers alike in a largely undeveloped market. The research covers Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

“Growth in the renewable energy market is being driven by the pressing need for both on and off-grid generation capacity across the region,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s Energy & Power Research Analyst, Gareth Blanckenberg. “Renewable energy presents an attractive solution for the region, due to its relatively fast build times and the interest it can generate from private project developers.”

Escalating electricity demand across the region will require a significant expansion in electricity generation capacity. This will create opportunities for participation by renewable energy project developers.

However, the lack of robust policies and incentive schemes has previously served as a disincentive to investment in the East African renewable energy market.

“The East African region has abundant natural resources suitable for renewable energy electricity generation, particularly geothermal and solar,” remarked Blanckenberg. “In addition, several newly instituted programmes to incentivise renewable energy generation will promote market development.”

Within the East African region, there are pockets of stability that have the natural resources as well as the feed-in-tariffs required to ensure the successful development of large scale renewable energy projects Investments in renewable energy projects on the continent have already quadrupled recently; with most of this investment being in East Africa.

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