Renewable Africa: Turbine for first Sudanese wind plant arrives from the Netherlands

The project is expected to serve as a role model for other African countries keen on enhancing their renewable energy capacity

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Friday 18 June 2021

Representative image of a wind farm. Photo: Warren Rohner via WikimediaRepresentative image of a wind farm. Photo: Warren Rohner via Wikimedia

The first wind turbine for Sudan’s first commercial wind-energy plant to be built at Dongola, arrived at the site June 14, 2021, in a major milestone for the country and the continent.

The 63-metre turbine, made in the Netherlands, arrived at the country’s Red Sea port city of Port Sudan. It was then transferred to Dongola, the capital of Northern Sudan state, according to a UN report.

The administration has already begun the task of constructing the 100 megawatt (MW) plant, which will be completed in 15-21 days, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project has been funded by the Sudanese government and the Global Environment Facility, a multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment. It is being supported by the UNDP.

Dongola is one of three sites identified by the government-commissioned Sudan Wind Atlas as having the potential to host wind power projects. The other two are Nyala in southern Sudan and the Red Sea coast.

Growing energy demand

Sudan faces significant challenges in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy to its citizens, which is the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal 7.

However, wind energy can help the country achieve this goal, according to the UNDP.

Hydroelectric power has the largest share of energy generation in the country, according to international energy statistics. But the potential to expand hydroelectric power to meet future needs is limited. This is because rainfall patterns affected due to climate change may also affect hydroelectric power.

The Dongola project is expected to bring power to 14,000 people, according to the UNDP.

Sudan, Africa’s third-largest country, will require 8,675 MW of additional thermal power plants by 2030, according to its National Electricity Corporation.

Since it has no significant oil or gas reserves, it will have to import fossil fuels. Under such circumstances, the Dongola wind project is a step in the right direction for promoting the use of wind energy in Sudan.

It will also serve as a role model for other countries on the African continent that are keen on enhancing their renewable energy capacity

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