The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has conducted quantitative assessments of the prospects for renewable energy deployment in Africa’s five regional power pools. This synthesis report summaries the findings of those five regional power studies, adding a consolidated outlook for the continent. The report also explains the energy-modelling approach employed and suggests the way forward for promoting renewable energy in Africa.
Using IRENA’s System Planning Test (SPLAT) models, least-cost energy supply options are explored under different policy assumptions for each sub-region. The SPLAT tools were developed primarily to support African countries in long-term planning for power sector infrastructure development, particularly with renewable energy sources and technologies. The tools are linked to IRENA databases such as the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, IRENA’s renewable energy project cost database, technology briefs and roadmaps in various renewable energy sub-sectors.
IRENA has held regional workshops and training sessions aimed at enhancing energy planning practices for the development of the African Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC). Feedback from those sessions highlighted further capacity building needs, but also the existing planning expertise that could be shared across the continent.
A study on Africa for IRENA’s global roadmap, REmap 2030, will provide a platform for further model validation by national experts from the continent.
Tools and data are continuously updated and improved through on-the-ground engagement. IRENA’s AVRIL project provides a platform for collaboration on master plan development in the power sector with interested national and regional energy planning offices.