Angola turning to PV

The governess of the Angolan province of Namibe, Candida Celeste, has announced the Angolian executive is considering the possibility of implementing PV projects to obtain electricity, in order to cater to the region’s growing needs, as reported by the country’s news agency, Angop.

According to Celeste, the province faces several issues in terms of power distribution and thus needs to look for alternative power sources, which could be combined to respond to the region’s needs.

"We are thinking about PV as a way to suppress problems in the energy sector. It is a less expensive source of energy and, taking into account the conditions in our region – extremely hot and desertic – we think this could be a solution, but we are still analysing the issue," she explained.

This follows Angola’s increasing focus on renewable energy as a way to attend to the country’s increasing demand; a result of its rapid growth in the past few years. At the beginning of last year, the Angolan Ministry of Energy announced its intention to create a research and technology center on renewable energy sources in the province of Huambo. The Angolan government had already requested the cooperation of the U.S. Government for the creation of this center.

The Portuguese Utility EDP also announced an interest in investing in PV projects in the African country, where it is currently participating in a 400 megawatt (MW) natural gas combined cycle central, according to the company’s CEO, Antonio Mexia, as reported by OJE in July 2010.

"Angola needs more installed capacity. The [combined cycle] central where we are involved represents 400 MWs and it is an increase of almost 60 percent compared to the existing capacity," Mexia stated. On the other hand, he said the demand for electricity in the country is rapidly growing, which motivates EDP to operate in Angola. "There could be small solar villages," he said, adding that the time-to-market of these projects is still fairly distant.