The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a great potential for renewable energy to help cater for its electricity needs a new report has shown.
The Renewable Riches report compiled by International Rivers involving researchers from the University of California’s Eny and Resources Group shows that renewable energy is key to enhancing the country’s energy needs.
According to the report, DRC’s renewable energy capacity estimated to be 85GW, would far surpass the output of the planned 4.8GW Inga 3 Dam on the Congo River. The Inga dam is expected to be the largest hydro-dam in the world.
Dr. Ranjit Deshmukh, one of the study’s authors said that while more studied were needed to operationalise the research, initial findings show a country that is greatly endowed with renewable energy resources.
“The good thing is that about 60GW of that energy could be installed at less than $0.07 per kWh, which makes it competitive with conventional power options,” Says Dr. Deshmukh.
Critics accuse DRC for putting all hope on Inga 3 neglecting a wealth of wind and solar in the country.
While the report notes that increasing power to the grid is not a silver bullet to address all of DRC’s energy needs, but it could help meaningfully address the country’s major energy supply deficit, while also expanding access to Congolese citizens.
To be successful the report says, DRC would need to develop concrete strategies to both expand grid connections in predominantly urban centers, and to
Currently DRC has roughly 2.5 GW of total installed capacity.
The report also focused on South Africa where it revealed that a combination of solar and wind, paired with a limited amount of gas as standby power, is the most affordable option that will allow the country to meet its projected energy demand.
Many African countries continue to grapple with energy shortage years after gaining independence. While renewable energy sources such as wind and solar have been fronted as necessary to offer reliant and green energy, financial constraints and technical capabilities have hindered development in this area.