January 19 - Demand for heavy lift and project forwarding activity in Africa could grow from large-scale wind turbine development as economic growth in African states threatens to outstrip the capabilities of traditional power generation means to satisfy
Interest in renewable energy production methods has been depressed over recent years thanks to the extremely low price of power generated from carbon-based fuel such as coal and natural gas.
However, market observers now point to the inability of existing generating infrastructure to support burgeoning demand for electricity as demand grows from all sectors.
Supporters of large-scale wind turbine development in Africa point to the growth of wind power activity in Europe and the US. Strategic wind power projects up to 300MW have been announced in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Africa while in North Africa, the Zafarana project in Egypt, which uses Vestas and Gamesa equipment and is set to generate 20 percent of Egyptian power when complete, is underway. Interest is reported by power industry observers in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
However, brakes on wind farm development in the continent remain with the many monopoly state power utilities, aging infrastructure, the lack of capital to revamp electrical infrastructure and the continuing low price of carbon alternatives on the continent.