The Sub-Saharan Africa region presents one of the most exciting solar opportunities and markets in the world. With one of the highest solar radiations in the world, solar energy is an obvious natural energy resource in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), at about 6kWh per square meter daily, especially for off-grid locations limited by transmission and fuel transport networks.
According to the World Bank, access to electricity for households in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is less than 25%, falling as low as 10% in rural areas. With power outages happening at an average of 56 days a year, it has taken a toll on the economic growth of the region. Every time the power goes out, backup diesel generators must kick in to reduce economic losses for the industry, with losses as much as 20% where back-up generation is not available.
There is an urgent and dire need for SSA to address this crisis. It is estimated that more than USD 40 billion a year of investments is needed for SSA to address the power supply problem that is hindering this economic growth. The governments in the region have recognised the importance of renewables, especially solar, in the energy supply mix. Commercial users are also beginning to take unprecedented steps to install on-site solar energy systems in order to ensure the stability of energy supplies and to cut energy costs. The affordability of the cost of PV systems has improved the solar value proposition to commercial users. The cost of renewable energy such as solar had fallen significantly from $250 per 30 watts solar system to about $150.
Sub-Saharan Africa Solar Energy Conference 2014 convenes key decision makers and policy makers as they share their plans for the growth of solar energy generation for rural electrification and industrial applications. Explore the business case for solar and the economic growth it has in store, with the deployment of this renewable energy resource.