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Wind Energy Potential in AFRICA

Map of mean 80-m wind speeds for year 2000
Map of mean 80-m wind speeds for year 2000 Africa

Wind speeds are calculated at 80 m, the hub height of modern, 77-m diameter, 1500 kW turbines. Since relatively few observations are available at 80 m, the Least Square extrapolation technique is utilized and revised here to obtain estimates of wind speeds at 80 m given observed wind speeds at 10 m (widely available) and a network of sounding stations.

Tower data from the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) were used to validate the results. Globally, ~13% of all reporting stations experience annual mean wind speeds ≥ 6.9 m/s at 80 m (i.e., wind power class 3 or greater) and can therefore be considered suitable for low-cost wind power generation. This estimate is believed to be conservative.

Wind potential in much of Africa is largely unassessed at this time. Egypt is the most advanced country in harnessing wind energy, with over 15 MWe installed capacity. There is undoubtedly much additional potential.


Wind Speeds at a Resolution of 50km
Wind Speeds at a Resolution of 50km africa

This wind map shows that the best winds in Africa are found in the norh of the continent and to its extreme east, west and south. Considering that wind energy technology will continue to improve, it would be appropriate to begin any efforts to put in place a wind power deployment strategy with the African countries that have the best wind resource.

Based on the wind map and taking into account certain aspects relating to the climatological and meteorological data, 15 African countries can be identified as having the best wind resource in Africa:
Southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar and Mauritius); East Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Seychelles and Somalia); North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia); West Africa (Cape Verde and Mauritania). This list will also include Chad, in central Africa, whose wind power potential derives from its topgraphical features.



Algeria | Angola | Burkina Faso | Benin | Botswana | Burundi | Cameroon | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | Chad | Comoros | Congo | Côte d'Ivoire | Djibouti | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Guines-Bissau | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia | Lybia | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius | Morocco | Mozambique | Namibia | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | São Tomé and Príncipe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Somalia | South Africa | Sudan | Swaziland | Tanzania | Togo | Tunisia | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe

Related GENI Resources
Definition Wind Energy
Current Articles on Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission
National Energy Grid Maps

African Wind Energy Association (AfriWEA)
Power Africa Wind (PAW)
AFREC (African Energy Commission)