Prospects of wind energy deployment in Africa: Technical and economic analysis

David Alemzero, Theophilus Acheampong*, Sun Huaping

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses the current status and barriers to wind energy deployment in Africa. We find that wind energy in Africa has rapidly grown by 740% from 0.74 GW (GW) in 2009 to 5.5 GW as of 2018. This has been spurred by continued falling costs, improved technologies, and political commitment. Notwithstanding the above, Africa still had installed only about 1% of its estimated wind capacity as of 2018, despite having competitive costs and speeds capable of deploying utility-scale wind farms. Wind LCOE costs in Africa have declined by 30% from an average of US cents 10 to 7 per kWh between 2010 and 2019. Furthermore, wind energy development on the continent is sporadic and skewed toward southern and northern Africa. While some countries have introduced targets for wind energy and instruments such as feed-in-tariffs, we find that the promotion, and scale-up of wind energy is lacking in many countries on the continent. Our findings add to the growing body of literature on the nascent wind industry in Africa. An equally important feature of this study is demystifying these challenges while making a case for shifting fossil fuel dominance in Africa by supporting clean energy transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-666
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Early online date10 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers whose critical reading, comments and suggestions helped improve and clarify this manuscript. Any errors remain naturally the authors sole responsibility.


  • Africa
  • Electricity access
  • Financing
  • Learning curve theory
  • Renewable energy
  • Wind power


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