In sunny Africa, solar energy is the energy source of today and tomorrow. And, from the north to the south of the continent, wind energy can be used. Both alternative energy sources will play a key role in the Desertec project.
Climate-friendly energy supply
Climate change, the soaring global electricity demand, the scarcity of fossil fuels and, consequently, their rising costs, make renewable energy gain in importance. Among alternative energy, wind power and solar energy are the most important energy sources, along with hydro energy. Renewables are present nearly everywhere and available without long transport. This can help countries lacking natural resources gain greater independence from fossil fuels and secure their own climate-friendly energy supply.
To investigate the potential of wind energy, Siemens has set up its “Wind Power Center of Competence for Africa and the Middle East” in South Africa. It will serve not only the needs of South Africa, but also those of the whole African continent and the Middle East. This shows the strategic significance of wind energy in Africa. Siemens achieved the number one market position in 2009 for order backlog and is on track to become one of the world's top three suppliers of wind turbines. Siemens offers high-efficiency, rugged, and reliable wind turbines for large-scale onshore and offshore applications. The rated output ranges from 2.3 MW for low to medium wind forces and 3.6 MW for high wind forces.
In Morocco, Siemens is involved in transporting renewable energy to the city of Tangier. GAMESA, one of the worldwide largest builders of wind farms, which successfully bid for the Tangier wind farm, awarded a contract to Siemens for the electrical installations including the extension of the high-voltage station with switchbays for two 225-kV power transformers and 33-kV medium-voltage switchgear. The wind farm will generate 140 MW of electricity, with an annual average output of 526.5 GW-hours. It will supply the entire city of Tangier and its neighbouring villages with electricity.
Siemens has recently been awarded a contract for two wind farms in Morocco The company will supply a total of 44 wind turbines to the customer Nareva Holding. The two wind power plants with a combined capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) are scheduled to be put on line in the north and southeast of the country in 2013.
Currently one of the biggest and most known renewable energy projects in Africa is the Desertec initiative. It will produce solar energy in the desert combined with wind and hydro energy to help meet growing energy demand in North Africa, Middle East and Europe.