IEA report recognises Chinese boost to sub-Saharan Africa

A new International Energy Agency report has detailed the positive influence Chinese firms are having in developing the power sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

The region has over 635 million people with no access to electricity but according to the new IEA report, power projects built by Chinese companies are beginning to eat into that deficit.

SpecificallSub-Saharan Africa, Chinese companies have invested around $13bn between 2010 and 2015 into sub-Saharan Africa, financed largely through public lending from China

The Chinese were responsible for 30 per cent of new capacity additions in 2010 to 2015, with more than 200 greenfield power projects contracted to Chinese companies over the period. Chinese contractors have currently built or are currently contracted to build 17 GW of generation capacity between 2010 to 2020, equivalent to around 10 per cent of existing installed capacity in the region.

Chinese contractors have focused mainly on hydropower. In fact, renewable sources account for 56 per cent of the total capacity added by Chinese projects between 2010 and 2020, including 49 per cent from hydropower. There are biomass and waste-to-energy projects in Ethiopia, and hydropower dams in Gabon and Zambia, and other renewable energy projects in Senegal and South Africa.

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