Solar and wind headaches

Africa’s green energy developers face uphill battle

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Africa’s natural gas loophole

By Pierre-Olivier Rouaud

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Posted on May 25, 2021 09:35

South Africa Solar Park
Workers install solar panels at a photovoltaic solar park situated on the outskirts of the coastal town of Lamberts Bay, South Africa, Tuesday, March. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

A host of obstacles are preventing oil majors from achieving their renewable energy ambitions, from investment delays to natural hazards to a lack of clear legislation.

This is part 3 of a 4-part series

After their natural gas projects, oil majors are putting the spotlight on their renewable energy ambitions, most of which are focused on the solar and wind power segments. Total plans to invest $60bn in renewables within 10 years and aims to expand its renewable capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) globally.

That’s the equivalent of 322 of Africa’s largest wind farm, the Lake Turkana power plant in Kenya, which is due to reach full capacity by 2030. For its part, BP is targeting a renewable capacity of 30 GW with the same timeline, while Shell has pledged to devote $2bn to $3bn a year to green energy projects worldwide.

But, for now, majors’ renewable investments in Africa, unlike those in natural gas, remain cosmetic. While Eni has vowed to pursue solar projects in Egypt and Angola, including Solenova, a joint venture with Sonangol, at this stage its

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