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    Nigeria lags as global wind energy investment hits $74.2bn in 2022

    March 15, 2023 - Business Day


      Global investment in wind turbines hit $74.2 billion last year, with 134.6 gigawatts (GW) procured last year, dominated by activities in China, according to Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research firm.

      With the right policies in Africa's largest economy, this development signifies a shift to an alternative energy resource that Nigeria can attract investment into.

      In Nigeria, there are great prospects for wind energy utilisation from offshore areas like Lagos through Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States to the mountainous terrains of the middle belt and northern fringes which have demonstrated high potential for great wind energy harvest.

      Despite the huge potential, wind energy development in Nigeria is still at an infant stage while the few wind energy technologies found in the country are mainly windmills which are used for irrigation water pumping in some rural communities in the northern regions.

      Nigeria has significant wind energy potential, especially in the Northern states, with a 10 megawatts (MW) wind farm in Katsina- not operating at full capacity due to issues ranging from insecurity, underinvestment, and poor maintenance.

      According to Wood Mackenzie, the wind market sees 44 GW in global orders in the fourth quarter of 2022. Overall, order intake increased 90 percent year-over-year (YoY) in Q4 and 30 percent year-over-year for the fiscal year, with China accounting for 65 percent of order capacity in Q4 and 70 percent of all order capacity in 2022.

      'This activity was driven by developers positioning to comply with China's 14th 5-year plan, which highlights green energy development in the Asian nation,' the energy research firm said.

      Wood Mackenzie added that while China made an outsized impact on global order capacity, order intake outside of China dropped 15 percent YoY to 41 GW, approximately 9 GW off the four-year average for full-year order capacity from 2018 to 2021.

      'We've seen incredible activity in China, but its soaring numbers have somewhat masked a slowdown from western Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), which supply chain challenges and cost increases have impacted. This has negatively impacted both new order intake and installation activity outside of China,' said Luke Lewandowski, research director, Wood Mackenzie.

      He added that we are already seeing a positive reaction to the Inflation Reduction Act, with H2 orders up 224 percent over H1 in the US.

      'Offshore wind also hit new records in 2022, reaching 19 GW of order intake. However, 80 percent of the activity was from China. Chinese OEMs Envision, Mingyang, and Goldwind led the rankings for order intakes in 2022, with more than 17 GW each,' the energy research firm said.

      According to a statement by Rystad Energy in the last two years, global spending on wind energy is projected to hit $810 billion in a decade.

      'The colossal level of investments anticipated in the offshore wind industry this decade reflects the ambitious targets set by companies and governments alike. As the market matures and economies of scale are achieved, investments could surge further, sparking even more installed capacity,' Petra Manuel, an offshore wind analyst at Rystad Energy, said.

      Yearly spending will rise to $126 billion by 2030. According to Rystad Energy, this will be after a short-lived dip in 2022 and 2023.


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