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Africa Energy Indaba to highlight significant growth potential of off-grid solar power

Africa Energy Indaba to highlight significant growth potential of off-grid solar power

The 11th Africa Energy Indaba conference set to be hosted on 19 to 20 February at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa will focus on the role of off-grid and mini-grid in rural electrification in Africa, particularly highlighting the significant growth potential of solar.

In a statement released by the organisers of the Indaba, off-grid solar is expected to surge in Africa, with the total power derived from solar having increased by more than 50% and has officially outpaced any other fuel with regards to global energy output.

A report conducted by The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted unrelenting solar PV growth up to the year 2022. In addition, it was estimated that electricity capacity would increase by 43% to over 920 GW.

According to the statement, being the sunniest region on the planet and with its vast natural resources, Africa is set to experience considerable socio-economic advancements. Connecting to the main grid remains extensive and costly which subsequently remains a focal concern of African governments and international development institutions.

“However, emphasis should be placed on the potential of providing millions of people with affordable, reliable and accessible power in the very near future. Market and policy frameworks require drastic improvements in order to accelerate the following objectives: providing long-term price signals to attract investment, ensuring efficient short-term electricity dispatching, pricing negative externalities and unlocking sufficient levels of flexibility as well as cultivating various dispatchable renewable technologies, including hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal and concentrated solar power,” organisers of the Indaba stated.

The Africa Energy Indaba is partnering with the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) in collaboration with the South African Department of Trade & Industry (the dti), will host various Rural Electrification Agency CEOs and decision-makers from several African countries.

Key discussions to enlighten these Agency CEOs on innovative off-grid and mini-grid technologies will be presented at the conference. In addition, technology companies, EPC contractors and financiers will find it worth their while to attend the event as they will be privy to the most recent renewable energy projects that are up for tender.

Furthermore, the conference will feature Hosted Buyers from property development companies, municipalities, retail centres and manufacturers, all of which demonstrate an eager interest in solar rooftop installations and solar solutions.


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.