Prospects for renewable energy in Africa can only be understood in the context of the massive undersupply of power in most of the continent. Renewable energy investment is viable only when projects are implemented as part of a coherent plan to widen access to affordable electricity and improve the reliability of its supply, writes David Donnelly.
David Donnelly, Director of Project Finance – Renewable Energy at Mazars, evaluates the opportunities and the challenges of investing in renewable energy in Africa in a white paper published in Clean Energy Pipeline’s ‘Clean Energy Africa Finance Guide.
“The scale of the opportunity for developers and investors in renewables in sub-Saharan Africa is great. The opportunity is far wider than developing and operating discrete grid-connected generation projects – in many cases the project or concession scope will have to be expanded to cover more of the power supply chain to the end consumer, to include distribution and commercial management, as well as off-grid and mini-grid solutions.” David Donnelly.
The article emphasises the need for developers and investors to take the time to understand the wider context of their projects and engage with governments and development finance institutions to ensure that project preparation is comprehensive. Sponsors in many cases will need to develop more flexible business models to ensure success.
Read the full article 'Financing renewables projects in Africa'.