Sub-Saharan Africa will add more renewable energy projects in 2014 than it has in the last 14 years, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.As Bloomberg reports, Africa is expected to add about 1.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, a category which includes geothermal, wind, and solar but excludes major hydroelectric power plants. According to the statement from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the rise in renewable energy in Africa has occurred due to the fact that there’s a growing need for power in Africa and the fact that wind and solar energy costs have dropped significantly in recent years. Due to this price drop, renewable energy can serve as a less expensive alternative to things like diesel, coal, or gas-powered plants.

Compared to the rest of the world, 1.8 gigawatts of energy is small — China, for instance, installed about 11.3 gigawatts of solar alone in 2013. But it’s more renewable energy capacity than Africa added between 2000 and 2013, and some countries in Africa are forecast to keep up the momentum on renewables. Between 2014 and 2016, South Africa is expected to install 3.9 gigawatts of renewable energy — mostly wind and solar — and Kenya is expected to install 1.4, according to Bloomberg.

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