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Lockdown restrictions imposed across various economies within sub-Saharan Africa have the ability to help the region to accelerate its adoption of solar energy.

According to GlobalData, a number of countries have recently announced plans to turn to solar to deal with the energy crisis aroused by the pandemic.

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The data analytics company stated that through a partnership with the African Development Bank and the World Bank, Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) unveiled its solar-related pandemic response measures.

REA will provide households with grants to install solar home systems and will provide medical and health centers with solar mini-grid solutions.

German pay-as-you-go solar distributor Redavia announced plans to provide its systems to companies in Ghana and Kenya free for six months before offering the option of signing a lease.

Somik Das, a power analyst at GlobalData, said: “Falling electricity demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns has meant that nations in the region need to turn to an alternative source of energy to maintain grid stability in what is an already patchy electricity network. In addition, the recent oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has posed an existential threat to the oil and gas industry in the region.

“Sub-Saharan Africa nations are facing an unprecedented crisis with disastrous and unpredictable consequences to the oil industry. The pandemic and price war has led to a historical fall in crude oil prices, with such falls last seen during the Gulf War. In times of such difficulty, turning to solar PV might be a great initiative. However, rigorous planning is needed to ensure that disruptions in the global solar PV supply chain doesn’t affect this shift that is planned to take place.”