It seems that Qatar 2022 is the world cup of the first times. First Arab country to host the competition, first host country to have never played a world cup match, first world cup in winter, etc. Africa will be validly represented by 5 nations that it will support. As this competition starts just after COP27, it would be interesting to know which of the 5 countries is the champion of renewable energies?
To address the question simply, it is possible to compare the progression of each country’s green sector capacity between 2012 and 2021 and assess the penetration in relation to total generation capacity.
The country of Eto’o and Milla had 731MW of renewable energy capacity in 2012 and by 2021, according to IRENA figures, this has grown by 13.1% to 827MW and represents around 60% of capacity. Most of this energy is provided by hydroelectric power plants, as the country has the second largest hydro potential on the continent, after Congo.
While green power has increased by 43% from 1,187MW to 1,700MW, the amount of energy generated has rather decreased between 2012 and 2021, from 8087GWh to 7420GWh, this is due to the presence of existing power plants that are non-operational for various reasons. Abedi Pele would still be proud to know that in terms of generation, the sector still accounts for almost a third of the network at 33%. Thermal power from fossil fuels accounts for 66% and hydropower for 33%.
In the image of its legend Mustapha Hadji, Morocco is one of the continent’s most reliable players. It is therefore not surprising that it has increased its share of renewable energy by more than 120%. If in 2012, the clean energy capacity was 1,597 MW, in 2021 it will be more than 3,500 MW (33% of the total production). This includes hydro at 1,770 MW, wind at 1,770 MW and solar at 751 MW. Morocco is also very interested in green hydrogen.
What about Sadio Mane’s country? Senegal has seen a very strong increase in renewable energies, from 31 MW in 2012 to 421 MW in 2021. The country has multiplied the size of its green park by 13. Senegal is the second country to have applied the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme, which aims to accelerate the deployment of green utility plants. Nevertheless, the percentage remains a minority with just 27% of total generation capacity.
Another World Cup regular like Cameroon, Sadok Sissi’s Tunisia has also seen strong growth in its green sector. If in 2012 it had 241 MW of green capacity, it has boosted its production by 70% to reach 406 MW in 2021. Nevertheless, its weight in the national electricity production remains marginal with 7%.
So who is the Champion of these 5 countries? Considering the percentage increase and the weight in the national grid, Morocco and Senegal clearly stand out. Because of its great achievements and its favourable legislation, Morocco is, in my humble opinion, the champion of the 5 countries.
Will it be the winner that all of Africa is waiting for on 18 December? Qatar 2022, the world cup of first times could once again surprise us. Let’s wait and see!