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Solar boom in Africa fuelled by companies




The appetite for solar energy is growing worldwide and also in Africa, as the latest figures from the African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (AFSIA) show: with around 350 GW of installed solar capacity around the globe, the solar industry has reached a new high with an increase of 46 per cent compared to 2022. More than 3.7 GW of new solar systems were connected to the grid in Africa. This is also a new record! 

However, with an increase of 19 per cent, our neighbouring continent was unable to match the pace of global growth. What's more, South Africa once again accounted for the biggest share of newly installed solar capacity in 2023.

Nevertheless, there are remarkable things to report: Firstly, a broadening of the development can certainly be observed, even if this is still at a significantly lower level in other countries than in South Africa. Secondly, there is a clear shift from large-scale solar projects with grid connection to smaller systems for self-supply. This is the segment in which EWIA Green Investments is also primarily active.

More and more African companies are focussing on solar power

In 2023, commercial and industrial projects (C&I) accounted for a good 65 percent of all newly added solar capacity in Africa at 2,429.5 MWp, which is more than twice as much as the commissioning of large projects. On the one hand, this trend is being promoted by the high prices for electricity from the grids and the sharp rise in the cost of diesel to operate generators. On the other hand, development is facilitated by falling prices for photovoltaic systems and a growing range of financing solutions.

According to the AFSIA, what distinguishes the development in Africa from other regions of the world is that investments in electricity production from PV systems are primarily driven by business decisions. Companies invest because solar power from their own systems is the cheapest and most reliable source of energy, not because it is government-mandated or subsidised.

AFSIA is the first authority on PV in Africa

AFSIA, the Africa Solar Industry Association, is the association for solar professionals in Africa. The association is headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda, and carries out solar-related activities and programs across Africa - from Egypt to South Africa, from Cape Verde to Madagascar.

AFSIA promotes the full spectrum of solar energy on the African continent, from large-scale grid-connected projects to off-grid solar systems for private households, from hybrid systems with diesel and storage to solar water pumps, solar cookers or solar water heaters.

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