Africa Can Install 30 GW Solar By 2030

German Solar Association BSW-Solar & Becquerel Institute Study Solarize Africa Supported By Intersolar Europe Pegs 30 GW Solar Potential For Africa By 2030
05:38 PM (Beijing Time) - 16. May 2019
africa potential

Currently, overall installed solar power capacity in Africa is currently around 5.1 GW, which can expand to 30 GW by 2030, according to BSW's Solarize Africa study that analysed 10 African nations.

Key Takeaways

  • BSW-Solar and Becquerel Institute study on Solarize Africa says African continent carries solar potential worth 30 GW to be achieved by 2030
  • The study assumes a scenario when natural competitiveness of solar PV technology driven by declining costs will make it shine in the energy landscape of the continent
  • Adequate grid infrastructure and access to financing are important factors to be considered for such a scenario
  • Solar mini-grids and solar home systems offer an affordable way to provide access to clean power in remote areas in nations with low electrification rate

The cumulative installed solar PV capacity of the entire African continent currently is around 5 GW, with 1 GW added during 2018. But the region carries potential to grow up to 30 GW by the end of 2030, according to a study by the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and the Becquerel Institute.

The Solarize Africa study supported by and launched during Intersolar Europe, carries analysis for African markets including Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. It analyzes the market under three scenarios, namely policy-driven, business-as-usual, and Solarize Africa.

As the name suggests, policy-driven scenario is based on official roadmaps and announcements, while business-as-usual scenario envisages market development driven by existing or lack of policies. Solarize Africa scenario assumes same kind of PV growth for Africa as the rest of the world with costs decline for PV rendering secondary role to policies. It allows for natural competitiveness of the technology to make its way into the region’s energy landscape.

“At the moment, the capacity of all solar power systems on the entire African continent is at around 5 GW– just over 1% of the total global installed solar power capacity. We estimate we would need about 2,000 TWh solar PV to fully decarbonize the energy consumption on the continent by 2040,” said BSW-Solar Managing Director, David Wedepohl.

To be able to achieve this potential, a whole lot of work needs to be done including having adequate grid infrastructure in place and access to financing. At the same time, several nations with low electrification rate, solar mini-grids and solar home systems offer an affordable way to provide access to clean power in remote areas.

Depending entirely on government subsidy programs and support of international organizations is not the complete solution for nationwide electrification. The study advocates the use of smart business models like pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or leasing solar PV system combined with mobile payment in Africa can be a ‘disruptor and market driver’ with stronger market impact in the near future.

The report is available for free download on Intersolar’s website.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani