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GE makes significant headway in African renewables

The company is even looking for local partners to deliver bespoke solutions using digitalisation for customers on the continent

GE is searching for local partners in renewable energy and healthcare to deliver bespoke solutions using digitalisation for customers in Africa, a media report said. It is also reported that the company has made a successful record in renewable energy partnerships on the continent.

In September, GE said that it plans to stop coal-fired power plants and redirect its focus into renewables projects. In fact, the company had finished work for the 100MW Kipeto wind project in Kenya. The project was in collaboration with British private equity fund Actis and Craftskills Wind Energy International, a sister company of Craftskills East Africa.

The wind project is estimated to have a supply capacity for 40,000 Kenyan households. Kathy Hipple, a financial analyst at Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told the media, “GE’s exit from building new coal-fired power—after decades as a leader in this space—is an acknowledgement that growth in the energy sector will no longer be in coal. The market will ultimately reward GE for exiting new coal builds.”

The company’s decision to withdraw from coal-powered plants strengthens its energy portfolio in environment, social and governance, media reports said. Last year, it planned to construct two new energy distribution systems in Benin and further develop three substations in Ivory Coast. This move was part of its commitment to reinforce energy efficiency and access in West Africa.

As of last year, Benin was importing nearly 85 percent of its energy from overseas. GE’s involvement in enhancing the system was expected to identify and address grid problems.

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