Africa and the Middle East have yet to tap into the region’s wind power potential, having only installed 821 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity last year, the latest data released by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Market Intelligence shows.
Last year's installed capacity was impacted by COVID-19 with disruptions to supply chains and project installations in key markets.
The report found that although the African continent alone has over 59,000 gigawatts of technical wind resource potential - enough to power the continent's energy demand 250 times over, the current installed capacity only accounts for 0.01% of this potential.
Commenting on the recent data, Feng Zhao, head of Market Intelligence and Strategy at GWEC, said although there was steady wind power growth in Africa and the Middle East last year, it is nowhere close to installing wind power capacity at the levels it could be, considering the massive resource potential in the region.
"South Africa continues to be the wind power leader in the region, with North African markets such as Morocco and Egypt increasingly driving growth. However, there are many more countries in the region that have yet to tap into their incredible wind power potential," he added.
With new additions in 2020, Africa and the Middle East brought total capacity in the region to over 7 gigawatts (GW), helping to avoid 10.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually or equivalent to taking 2.3 million passenger cars off the roads.
By Gulsen Cagatay