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Now is the time for local investors to step up and electrify Africa


31 Aug. 2018 by Marco Dorothal, Solarplaza

After a foreign kickstart, African investors and regulators have to take over the lead in shaping the continent’s sustainable energy future.


Step up


For years, the African renewable energy development market has been dominated by foreign investors and financial institutions. Now is the time for African investors to step up to the plate and join the continent’s solar energy transition.

Africa is now even preparing to feed Europe’s growing energy needs through various projects, such as the TuNur CSP project. The project is currently in the early phases of development and will comprise a 2.3 GW concentrated solar power plant situated in the Sahara desert and a 2-G high-voltage DC submarine cable from Tunisia all the way to central Italy. Additional plans of building other export routes to Malta and France are on the table. The project is being financed mostly by European investors and will be constructed using the most modern technology. Europe will soon enjoy of the benefits of green energy coming straight from African soil. But while Europe seeks to power more coffee shops, chain stores and crypto mining server-farms,  50% of Africans are not electrified at all, and the other 50% are often connected to unreliable energy sources.

There are vast opportunities for local African investors present in the solar sector. The continent has an abundance of land available for project development and is home to some of the sunniest places on earth, which makes it an ideal location for solar energy development. Lydia van Os, Africa Lead at Solarplaza, believes that this is the right time for local investors to take action and get involved in Africa’s rapidly growing solar industry. She is convinced that this can only succeed if the movement of people committed to providing clean, reliable and affordable energy is inclusive, from Wall Street investors to Congolese rural households.

Reel

To fulfill its mission of accelerating the global sustainable energy transition and create the platform for international and local solar stakeholders to meet and share knowledge, Solarplaza is hosting  Unlocking Solar Capital (“USC”) Africa. The third edition of this leading conference will take place on 7 to 8 November 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The two-day event is being organized in partnership with the Global Off-grid and Lighting Association (GOGLA), and is wholly focused on unlocking capital for new solar project development in Africa.

For those who can’t wait for the conference to get an in-depth look into the African solar landscape: Solarplaza has published an exhaustive 128-page regional report on Africa’s solar energy situation. The report offers an overview of the key facts & figures related to the most relevant solar PV markets in Africa. The detailed country profiles provide overviews of a range of issues related to solar PV project development and include summaries of key demographic info; insights into legislation and policy; electricity generation capacity; and assessments of the current status of the solar industries in: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa.