The photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows the De Aar wind power project facilities invested by Chinese company Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa Photo: Xinhua

As the world grapples with climate change in a consensus to switch to green energy, China-Africa cooperation in renewable energy is bearing fruit. In various parts of Africa, China-Africa cooperation brings clean electricity to increase electricity supply.

Wind farms provide continuous electricity

In De Aar, central South Africa, long white blades on tall towers whirled like fans on top of the mountain.

The companies formed by the Chinese company Longyuan Power through its South African subsidiary Longyuan South Africa Renewables (Longyuan SA), which owns 60% of the shares, and its South African partners, including the South African renewable energy developer Mulilo Group , a community trust, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) installed 163 wind turbines in two phases of the De Aar Wind Project, converting wind energy into electricity. The total investment of the projects amounts to 500,000 South African rand (approximately 31,440 US dollars).

The installed capacity of the project is 244.5 megawatts (MW), which can stably deliver clean energy of around 760 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, which is equivalent to saving over 200,000 tons of standard coal, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 700,000 metric tons.

Since its operation in 2017, the project has operated in good condition and has not experienced any interruptions, said Sheng Bin, director of the production and security technology department of Longyuan SA, who attributed the smooth operation to Chinese technology. and a team of technicians. .

Wind turbines manufactured by China Guodian Group use higher configuration among similar types of equipment and Chinese technology for improvement in accordance with local conditions in South Africa. Technicians working on the project were strictly selected to ensure prompt resolution of issues, according to Sheng.

Longyuan SA won the tender in 2013 under bid window 3 of the Independent Renewable Power Producers Supply Program (REIPPP), which was established by the South African Department of ‘Energy in collaboration with the National Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa in late 2010 as one of the South African government’s urgent interventions to improve the country’s power generation capacity.

Its main objective is to secure private sector investments for the development of new electricity production capacities, thus diversifying South Africa’s energy mix. It is also designed to contribute to broader national development goals such as job creation and economic transformation, primarily through the expansion of economic ownership.

According to Zhao Mingming, director of Longyuan SA, Longyuan is actively responding to the South African government’s plan to develop renewable energy by bidding for projects, providing virtually clean energy and additional electric capacity to South Africa.

“I am really proud to work with the company which is mainly oriented towards renewable energy. I see that there is a need for it,” project site manager Regardt van Tonder told Xinhua on the report. site of the first phase, stressing that it is necessary to improve methods of electricity production.

The 30-year-old also said that such a project promotes relations between countries, creates jobs and improves understanding of each other’s culture. “There are a lot of positives that we can take from this,” he said.

Longyuan SA is also commended by different levels of South African governments for fulfilling its social responsibility in South Africa, not only in De Aar but also in other parts of the country.

Hydropower plant adds mega capacity with green design

In the midwestern district of Kiryandongo, Uganda, workers at the Sinohydro Corporation are busy completing work on the final stage of the Karuma hydroelectric power station along the Nile.

The Karuma hydropower plant, funded 85% by the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) of China, including low-interest loans, and 15% by the Ugandan government, will be the largest power generation facility in this East African country when completed with the capacity of 600 MW.

The plant is expected to generate 4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and provide more than $ 200 million in revenue to the government, which is almost 1% of Uganda’s current gross domestic product.

Compared to other conventional energies, hydropower is inexpensive and easier to shift peak load, which promotes the use of water resources as well as social and economic benefits, said Li Ji, general manager. project assistant.

Due to the stable water resources provided by the Nile, the power plant will be able to have a continuous and stable capacity to generate and supply electricity, he said.

Clean energy production and use is a key area of ​​Uganda’s sustainable development and the country is pushing for increased use of renewable energy, said Mary Goretti Kitutu, former Minister of Energy and Mining Development . Uganda is heavily dependent on hydropower generation, and its total generation capacity would reach 2,000 MW once the Karuma hydropower plant is commissioned, she said.

The $ 1.7 billion project had environmental protection fully taken into account from design to actual construction, as it is built in an environmentally sensitive area, Murchison Falls National Park, which boasts flora and rich fauna.

More of the plant was built underground to limit surface footprints, and the above-ground structures were also designed and built to be environmentally friendly.

The dam includes channels for fish, which allows them to migrate, Li said, adding that the project is closed to avoid injuring animals during construction while keeping hippos clear for food.

“We hope to promote the development of Uganda, while protecting Uganda’s environment as much as possible,” he said.

Kenya’s partner in realizing the potential of solar energy

Official figures have shown that the installed capacity of solar power in Kenya is over 100 MW, while Garissa Solar, funded by China, is 50 MW.

Located in Garissa County, northern Kenya, it is the largest grid-connected solar power plant in East and Central Africa. The power plant, designed and built by the China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC) in collaboration with Kenya’s Rural Energy Authority (REA), was launched in 2019 and was connected to the national grid.

According to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Garissa solar power plant puts Kenya on the path to green energy sufficiency and adds to Kenya’s rich profile as a center of green power generation in Africa. This is part of a broad government renewable energy strategy to harvest 400 MW of electricity from the country’s vast solar resources, he said.

Kenya is rich in solar energy and has great prospects for solar energy development.

It is a prudent decision to tap into the region’s high solar intensity to support the national grid by building the solar power plant, said Hannington Gochi, renewable energy technician at REA.

“With constant power and a low cost of electricity, Garissa can invest in industries and businesses,” Gochi said. He noted that more households and businesses have connected to the network in the region, stimulating artisans like those who own welding shops.

“I am so proud that the project was completed and that it has state-of-the-art equipment. We hope he will serve Kenya for the next 25 years, ”said Zhang Jian, CJIC Kenya Country Representative.

“China has been a major partner in the continent’s desire to switch to solar and wind power,” Kenya-based international relations specialist Cavince Adhere wrote in a comment earlier this month.

According to Adhere, the upcoming eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal provides a platform to explore innovative avenues, where long-standing partners can re-energize the fight against the climate.

Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows the wind turbines at the De Aar wind farm project invested by Chinese company Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows the wind turbines at the De Aar wind farm project invested by Chinese company Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows the wind turbines at the De Aar wind farm project invested by Chinese company Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows the wind turbines at the De Aar wind farm project invested by Chinese company Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on December 13, 2019 shows a 50 megawatt solar farm in Garissa, Kenya Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on December 13, 2019 shows a 50 megawatt solar farm in Garissa, Kenya Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 8, 2020 shows a view of the Karuma hydropower project under construction in the Kiryandongo district of Uganda. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 8, 2020 shows a view of the Karuma hydropower project under construction in the Kiryandongo district of Uganda. Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on July 11, 2020 showing the Karuma hydroelectric project under construction along the Nile in the Kiryandongo district of Uganda.  Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on July 11, 2020 showing the Karuma hydroelectric project under construction along the Nile in the Kiryandongo district of Uganda. Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on December 13, 2019 shows a 50 megawatt solar farm in Garissa, Kenya Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on December 13, 2019 shows a 50 megawatt solar farm in Garissa, Kenya Photo: Xinhua