Africa African Review African Review of Business and Technology Energy Power Power Grid Renewables

Are gensets the answer to Africa’s power problem?

Nicholas Newman African Review October 2016
27594974 - south african electricity power lines with sun at dusk on the highveld
South African electricity power lines with Sun at dusk on the High Veld

Africa is at tipping point. Millions face power shortages due to unreliability. Could gen sets be the answer to these African energy prayers? Nicholas Newman reports Africa is a big market for gensets, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers. It expects expenditure to increase by around 10 per cent per year in sub-Saharan Africa. The current global diesel generator market is expected to rise from US$14.7bn in 2016 to US$17.6bn by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent.

The market for purchases of gensets in Africa is especially good in markets experiencing unreliable power supplies. Alex Marshall, group marketing & compliance manager Clarke Energy says this is due to “very unreliable grids, disproportionately high costs and lack of widespread access to renewable power.” Take Nigeria where power cuts are frequent. It is not helped that the county’s power sector produces just 4,000MW for a population of 150mn. pages 46 to 50.

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