The African continent presents significant opportunities for the development of solar PV energy. Its average solar irradiation rate is the highest among all continents, with some countries boasting an impressive 4,300 hours of annual sunshine. In the face of its immense potential, solar PV remains one of the least developed renewable energy industries. The total capacity of commissioned solar PV power plants remains under 5 GW, and although recently there have been numerous signed MoUs and sealed investment deals, the majority of projects in development will not come online until 2020. To further encourage foreign investment, local governments have gone to great lengths mandating financial incentives and lifting bureaucratic hurdles. The challenge of providing energy for Africa is rapidly becoming a forefront of investment in the developing world and it will be a defining point in the region’s economic future.
Solar PV, however, does not only provide a viable solution for meeting the continent’s (growing) power hunger through utility-scale solar power plants. Mini-grid, microgrid and off-grid applications electrify communities and households that otherwise would have to rely on expensive and carbon-rich fossil fuels. Since economic development goes hand in hand with energy access, the application of solar power is, slowly but surely, contributing to the continent’s economic development.
In preparation for Solarplaza’s Unlocking Solar Capital Africa conference, Solarplaza is bringing you the Solar Facts & Figures report to get a more in-depth look into key facts & figures related to the most relevant solar PV markets in Africa. The report will provide an overview of a range of issues related to solar PV project development, including descriptions of key demographic info, insights into legislation and policy, electricity generation capacity, and assessments of the current status of the solar industries in the following countries: Rwanda, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda, Namibia, Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali and Zambia.