Solarize Africa Market Report

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The German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and the Becquerel Institute presented an analysis of the solar markets in ten African countries at the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, Intersolar Europe. The Solarize Africa study was supported by Intersolar Europe.

In order to cover the growing energy demand as sustainably and inexpensively as possible, massive photovoltaic expansion is necessary. How attractive potential solar markets are for investments does not depend primarily on solar radiation; local conditions, market access for foreign investors and political stability are more decisive factors.

The study also identifies outdated and inadequate grid infrastructures in many of the regions investigated as a major obstacle to greater photovoltaic expansion. "In only partially electrified countries, off-grid solar and storage power solutions can sometimes enable a lower-cost electrification than the expansion of electricity grids," says Gaëtan Masson, Managing Director of the Becquerel Institute.

Government subsidy programs and international organizations support the expansion of photovoltaics in many places – but they cannot achieve nationwide electrification. "Smart business models are needed in order for photovoltaics to become mainstream in Africa. Even those who cannot pay for their photovoltaic system upfront must be able to benefit from solar power generation", says Wedepohl. Models in which participation in a system of clean solar power supply can be easily paid for in small amounts via an app can also pave the way for photovoltaics in rural regions.

The markets analyzed in the study include Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.