Cabo Verde: Wind farms save 53,600 tonnes of CO2 in 2019

The electricity generated by the four wind farms operated in Cabo Verde by Cabeólica, a public-private partnership with international funding, prevented the emission of 53,600 tonnes of CO2 in 2019, even though production fell 7.7%.

The data is included in the company’s 2019 report and accounts, seen by Lusa, which said that last year the company maintained installed capacity of 25.5 MegaWatts (MW), with 30 wind turbines, distributed across the parks on the islands of Santiago (11), Sal (9), São Vicente (7) and Boa Vista (3).

In the document, the board said that the operation was “efficient and profitable” in 2019, despite being a year “with one of the least favourable wind conditions in the history of the company” and the exceptional year of electricity production by the same farms in 2018, which had predicted a decline.

In “strict compliance” with the contract for the purchase and sale of electricity, signed with the sector’s concessionaire, the public company Electra, Cabeólica’s farms produced around 78,575 MWh in 2019 (-7.7% compared to 2018), avoiding the release of the equivalent of 53,692 tons of CO2 with the same production by fossil energies.

Since its creation, these farms have avoided the release of 420,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Cabeólica was responsible in 2019 for producing around 15% of the electricity consumed in the country, “keeping Cape Verde as an international benchmark and a leader in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of wind energy rates,” the company said.

With the sale of the energy it produced to the public grid, Cabeólica ended 2019 with profits of almost 277 million escudos (€2.5 million) – of which 20% went to dividend distribution and 80% for reserves – 9% less than the previous year.

“Revenues have reached a satisfactory level, but it can be seen that a significant part of the available energy is still not being used, mainly due to technical constraints of the buyer, mainly in the Sal and São Vicente wind farms,” the company warned in the report.

Cabeólica’s wind farms were the result of a 2008 Public-Private Partnership agreement between InfraCo Africa Limited, the government of Cabo Verde and the state-owned group Electra, and six years later reached its record, guaranteeing around 24% of the electricity consumed in the archipelago, making it one of the countries with the highest penetration of wind energy in the world.

The company is led by Anergi Asset Company, which is part of the Anergi group and has stakes in several companies in the area of electricity generation in Africa, with a total installed capacity of around 1,800 MW.

Currently, 94% of Cabeólica’s share capital is in the hands of Anergi Asset Company, with 3.75% belonging to the Electra group and 2.25% to the Cabo Verde state.

These wind farms drew on funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a total of €45 million, repayable in 28 half-yearly instalments, the first of which matured on 1 July 2012.