A “solar revolution” is coming to Africa, comparable in scale and importance to the rapid surge in cellphone use on the continent two decades ago, predicts the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
This is being accelerated by the fast-dropping costs for solar power, combined with plenty of sun in a continent that has more than half of it’s population not connected to electricity, meaning solar has huge potential in Africa. New reports show that Africa’s electricity problems continue to limit the continent with only 40% of Africans enjoying reliable power supply.
The continent gets 117% more sunshine than Germany, which today has the highest installed solar power capacity.
Both grid-connected solar power and off-grid solar energy now offer cost-competitive means to meet rising energy needs and bring electricity to the 600-million Africans who currently lack access. Even as the higher initial costs are coming down , solar panel prices is aswell expected to continue falling. The price of producing power from solar mini-grids – installations unconnected to larger national grid systems – is expected to fall by at least 60% over the next two decades.