Traditionally reliant on hydropower, the African continent is turning to solar photovoltaics (PV) to bolster energy security and support rapid socio economic growth in a sustainable manner. With recent substantial cost reductions, solar PV offers a rapid, cost-effective way to provide utility-scale electricity for the grid and modern energy services. Africa is quickly becoming one of the most significant regions in the global expansion of the PV industry.
The high levels of solar irradiation, extreme growing energy demand, increasing level of commitment by governments in the region to renewable energy generation, and the lack of an established sophisticated energy infrastructure are just some of the factors that are sparking a growing interest from international stakeholders in African continent.
It is not only the falling of PV prices that will help this segment take off, but also developments and innovations in financing and credit – as this has historically posed the biggest barrier. Solar financiers and developers are working to introduce and implement various business models that will serve to widen access to financing, lower transaction costs and raise total investment costs. Agriculture, small industry and end users are all potentially significant beneficiaries of solar.
Out of 50 prospective ISA countries in Africa Region, 39 countries have signed ISA Framework Agreement and 23 countries have signed the treaty.