|22 September 2016|

Africa

The business case for solar in Africa has never been stronger thanks to falling tech costs, according to a new report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

IRENA’s  Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets reveals a drop of 61% in the cost for power generated by utility-scale solar PV projects in Africa since 2012, with installed costs for these projects are as low as USD 1.30 per watt in Africa, compared to the global average of USD 1.80 per watt.

“Africa’s solar potential is enormous, with solar irradiation levels up to 117% higher than in Germany – the country with the highest installed solar power capacity. It has never been more possible, and less expensive for Africa to realise this potential,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

He added: “In recent years, solar PV costs have dropped dramatically and will continue to do so with further declines of up to 59% possible in the next ten years. These cost reductions, coupled with vast solar potential on the continent, present a huge opportunity for Africa. Both grid-connected and off-grid solar PV now offer a cost-competitive means to meet rising energy needs and bring electricity to the 600 million Africans who currently lack access.”

IRENA estimates that with the right enabling policies, Africa could be home to more than 70 gigawatts of solar PV capacity by 2030.