A pipeline of innovative renewable energy projects being developed in West Africa are driving sustainable solutions for the region.
The upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference – which is organized by Energy Capital & Power (https://EnergyCapitalPower.com/) – Mauritania will showcase the region’s renewable energy prospects to global investors.
With both the energy transition and fuel security top priorities for West Africa, future energy solutions will require innovation.
Several innovative renewable energy projects are already taking center stage, including wave energy in Ghana, wave-powered desalination in Cabo Verde, thorium exploration in Nigeria, biofuel construction in Senegal and Mauritania, and a biogas program in Senegal.
Ada Foah Wave Energy Project in Ghana
Ghana’s wave energy potential, estimated at 7,215 MW, has piqued the interest of renewable energy developers, with the Ada Foah Wave Energy Project recently being revived thanks to a collaboration between American energy infrastructure company TC Energy; engineering firm Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation; and wave energy developer Seabased. The initiative aims to build a wave energy park in the Gulf of Guinea capable of producing 1,000 MW of power while using ecologically friendly technologies.
The initiative expects to generate up to $2 billion in investment, with over $10 million already secured. The Ghana Standards Authority will ensure the safety and quality of the product, with the cost of electricity generated expected to average between three and four cents, compared to hydropower and thermal which costs 10 cents. The innovative project will not only ensure the provision of sustainable energy supply in Ghana but will reduce the reliance on hydrocarbons.
Wave2O Project in Cabo Verde
The innovative Wave2O program aims to help Cabo Verde achieve its goal of transitioning to 50% renewable energy by 2030. The Wave2O Project will consist of the development of a reverse-osmosis desalination plant powered solely by wave energy.
Wave2O technology is a proprietary seawater desalination process that couples technology company Resolute Marine’s wave energy converters with onshore desalination and electricity generation plants. The pilot project in Cape Verde, supported by the African Development Bank, will assess the feasibility of the technology and pave the way for a commercial pilot.
Thorium Exploration in Nigeria
In the context of renewable energy exploration, Wildsky Resources, a Canadian mining company, initiated an exploration program in Nigeria in 2022 which focuses on Niobium-Thorium exploration licenses – a cleaner alternative to uranium for nuclear power generation. The company has completed mapping and surveys, identifying notable Niobium-Thorium anomalies. Plans are underway to drill shallow holes for further investigation.
Thorium is more abundant, generates less waste and has limited potential for use in nuclear weapons compared to uranium. China is investing significantly in Thorium, and India has utilized it in third-generation reactors.
Typha Fuel and Construction Project in Senegal and Mauritania
The Typha Combustible Construction Afrique de l’Ouest/West Africa project utilizes the invasive plant, typha, as a biofuel and construction material. This innovative approach aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable practices in the energy and construction sectors.
The project’s components include managing the typha resource, producing biofuel, developing typha-based building materials, and promoting awareness and training. By controlling typha invasion, creating market conditions for biofuel, and integrating typha into construction practices, the project seeks to mitigate climate change and enhance local capacities for a greener future.
Biogas Program in Senegal
The National Biogas Program in Senegal aims to address the high demand for energy services, particularly cooking fuel, which is predominantly supplied by firewood and charcoal. To mitigate the negative impacts on health and the environment, the government seeks alternative solutions, such as domestic biogas production.
The program focuses on constructing biodigesters for rural households, providing them with a sustainable source of fuel. Additionally, it aims to create a viable market for biodigesters and produce organic fertilizer to enhance agricultural productivity. The program’s objectives include installing thousands of biogas units, promoting access to credit, and fostering partnerships for sustainable development.
All this and more will be unpacked during the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference taking place November 21-22 in Mauritania. Uniting regional energy and petroleum ministers with global investors and technology companies, the event will facilitate new conversation around innovative energy solutions in West Africa, with a strong pipeline of deals expected to be signed.