Developing solar power is necessary, as a measure to combat global climate change. At this time, Africa should be exploring its locally available abundant solar PV resources. The technology that Africa needs to explore is solar PV, which is comparatively competitive and also mature in the International Market.
Solar home systems are the most cost-effective way of defeating domestic energy poverty in developing regions in East Africa.
Global investment in renewable energy has increased from 2017 to 279.8 billion USD. Therein, China amounted to 126.6 billion USD, taking up approximately 45% of the global total. While in Africa, the total renewable investment in Africa was only 3.5 billion USD. Investments in Renewable Energy seem to only take place in a few countries.
African countries are also yet to master the manufacturing of key tech components of Solar PV, for example, PV module processing, inverter production. As a continent, we are still relying on imports from international markets. The industrial chain of PV is not yet established and this is where our focus as a continent should be.
African countries should start to understand that they are not too poor to go green. They should prioritize long-term sustainable development, which is able to create employment, whilst also encouraging investors to participate in that path.
Transformations towards large scale PV power actually, requires strong policies to bring real changes. These policies could target tax reduction and exemption during project implementation.
Lack of strong and interconnected electric power system, hybrid solar power system offers an important opportunity in the distribution system to compensate for the intermittency of solar power by utilizing other locally available energy sources. In the hybrid system, the power outputs of solar PV can synergize with outputs from diesel engines, gas turbine or wind energy, which enhances the competitiveness and utilization of Solar PV.
Africa’s Agenda 2063 champions for a prosperous continent based on inclusive growth and sustainable green development, this provides Africa with the responsibility to develop solar power through multilateral cooperation. The development of solar power could take advantage of existing African initiatives such as the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative that aims to increase renewable electricity in Africa by no less than 300GW by 2030.