Sudan, like several countries in East Africa, has immense renewable energy resources (hydro, solar, wind) which are yet to be fully utilized. If properly utilized, these renewable energy sources can elevate the energy poverty in sub-saharan Africa, which is represented by the low electricity access rate and the low uptake rate in grid-covered areas. However, realizing this goal requires sound policy and planning.
Like many other renewable energy sources, wind power can play a significant role in meeting the electricity demands of a country and supporting its economic development, while also minimizing energy-related carbon emissions. Given the low energy access rate in Sudan (57% according to the World Bank) and the sizable wind energy resources in coastal areas, there is a great potential in utilizing this technology at both a centralized and a decentarlised scale.
A report by Musdag El Zein, graduate from the MSc. in Sustainable Development program at Uppsala University in Sweden and a contributor to this blog, investigated the policy and planning aspects for wind power in Sudan. The report discusses the technical potential of wind energy, the market and technical challenges, and critically examines the existing Renewable Energy Planning Policy Statement. The report also draws examples from neighbouring African countries like Kenya on best practices for wind power planning and policy.
Having enough enabling wind policies, proper planning and permission processes fully supported by all stakeholders under a cooperative and transparent umbrella would be the ultimate key for the success of any of Sudan’s wind development projects.