Luanda — Angola aims to reach 71 percent of renewable energy capacity production all over the country by 2027, said João Fernandes, engineer of the National Directorate of Energy and Rural Electrification of the Ministry of Energy and Water.
In an interview to ANGOP, the engineer explained that more than 62% of the country’s energy production comes from renewable sources, that is, water and photovoltaic (solar). These two combined, the technician said, now have a considerable weight in the capacity to produce clean energy.
Angola’s energy matrix comprises 59.79% hydro-electric energy, 35.74% thermal energy, 3.81% solar energy and 0.57% hybrid energy. In total, 63.6% of the energy produced nationally is from clean sources.
To achieve the target of 71% clean energy foreseen in the Electricity Sector Development Plan, Fernandes said, the Caculo Cabaça hydroelectric plant to generate 2,100 Megawatts (MW) and several other solar energy projects will secure the supply.
According to the engineer, at the moment, Angola has an estimated solar energy production capacity of 285.50 MW and the aim is to reach over one gigawatts, underlining that Hydro and solar energy sources are those offering larger energy capacity for Angola.
“We have the largest water capacity in Africa and also the largest solar energy potential in the world. We have solar energy potential that varies annually from 1.3 to 2.3 kilowatts/hour per square meter. I think it is one of the best in the world,” the engineer said.
The energy production capacity currently stands at 6.2 gigawatts and is expected to reach 8 GW by 2027. The electrification rate is at more than 42% and is expected to reach 50% in 2027, combining the various sources of power.
Investments in renewable energy
Comparing benefits between fossil and renewable energy, João Fernando said that fossil energy is regular, with very high greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, and has a 24-hour operating cost and the burning of fuels makes it expensive the daily operating cost of a thermal power plant.
The hydroelectric plant (clean energy) has a cheaper operating cost, but the cost of the work is much more expensive and is very dependent on the intermittency of the rivers, if it has a high flow rate, as the river flow has been low for years.
As for solar energy, it depends on the incidence of sunlight throughout the year. There are periods with less and more incidences. “The idea of investing in renewable energy is to find the best combination and overcome the weaknesses of one technology with the strengths of others. Hence the need to use different energy sources, diversifying it”, Fernandes said.
He added that the objective is also, within capabilities and potential, to find a way to produce the cheapest energy, but with the best possible quality. Depending on what the intermittences or disadvantages of each energy source are.
Energy production trajectory
In 2015, Angola’s energy matrix was more than 50 per cent thermal energy (generators) from burning diesel, while less than 50 per cent was hydroelectric energy. These two combined culminated in the production of around 2.3 gigawatts.
In that period, the State was spending 1.3 billion liters of fuel a day for the thermal power stations, which by 2022 had fallen to 500 million kwanzas, a reduction of almost 900 million liters.
From 2015-2022 there had been roughly three-time increase in the energy production capacity including going from less than 50 per cent hydro power to 58 per cent, while thermal power went to 36 per cent, with 5 percent of production capacity from hydro and thermal power stations.PPA/VM/CF/AMP