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24
Oct
2016

ENGIE in Africa: on the road to the energy transition

ENGIE is making an active contribution to energy industry expansion in Africa. With an established presence in the north and south, ENGIE now plans to expand into other regions of the continent to bring accessible sustainable energy to its growing population, 70% of whom still suffer from insufficient access to power.

Find out more about ENGIE in Africa!

Energy: a crucial challenge for Africa

Modernizing and upgrading its energy infrastructures is a stated priority for Africa. The majority of African countries have now embarked on this process of energy revolution with the target of effective implementation by 2035. As a cornerstone for any meaningful economic growth, energy is the starting point for meeting the basic needs of the continent, such as access to clean water, agricultural and industrial productivity, health and education. This renewal of the energy landscape is a clear necessity for a continent where 650 million people - 70% of the population - struggle to access energy. This fact is nuanced by a very marked disparity between the north, the south and the rest of the continent. Morocco is one of those countries with ambitious plans for energy projects. For example, its rural electrification program launched in 1995 has brought mains power to 98% of the country's population.

The continent of Africa has enormous natural resources

Africa has enormous potential for renewables; potential that currently remains underexploited. Geothermal could be a promising way forward in the east. The heart of Africa is home to a water catchment area so large that it accounts for 58% of the continent's water reserves. Total average sunlight hours here are twice the figure for of Europe.

Initiatives to promote the rollout of renewables are now underway, and the Cape Verde Islands are aiming for a 50% contribution from renewables to total power generation between now and 2020. Senegal takes the same view, and has set itself a 15% contribution target for renewables by 2020. Ghana, Nigeria and Mali all hope to meet 10% of energy demand using renewables by 2020.

All these data confirm that Africa is on the road to renewing its energy landscape, and the ENGIE Group believes that over the next 40 years, global growth will be driven by African growth, which in turn will be driven by powerful demographic forces.

Reliable, affordable electricity

The Group has an installed power generating capacity of 2.8 gigawatts of energy currently in service or under construction, 416 MW of which comes from wind and solar power.

As the fifth-largest African economy, Morocco is focusing its efforts on the electricity industry, and is committed to guaranteeing national access to low carbon, affordable energy. The challenge it has set itself is extremely ambitious: a 42% contribution from renewables by 2020, rising to 52% in 2030. ENGIE is making an active contribution to this energy revolution, and is the operator of the 301 MW Tarfaya wind farm, which supplies electricity to 1.5 million households.

Projects are underway to accelerate the continent's energy transition

A Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development project in Morocco is also in progress. Its intention is to generate electricity from imported LNG: "It comprises a regasification terminal in the industrial port of Jorf Lasfar, south of Casablanca, and gas pipelines to supply a series of combined cycle gas power plants with a total generating capacity of 2,700 MW. Project delivery is scheduled for the period from 2020 to 2035," explains Mohamed Nadah, ENGIE Project Development Manager for North Africa. In Algeria, natural gas production is still forging ahead following the 2016 discovery of new gas reserves in the Illizy basin in the south east of the country, the progress achieved on construction of the Touat production plant in southern Algeria, and completion of drilling on the first 22 wells. The Group is also assisting Egypt with rapid expansion of its wind and solar power capacity, with the construction of a 250 MW wind farm on a site close to the Suez Canal, design work for two 50 MW solar projects close to the Aswan Dam in the south of the country, and two 50 MW wind projects close to the Gulf of Suez.

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