A new report analyzing 10 solar markets throughout Africa claims that the continent’s PV market could expand from about 5 GW at present to up to 30 GW by the end of the next decade.
While solar is lauded as a cheap energy resource in OECD countries, the cost of financing PV projects in developing nations has impeded progress. Development banks and the Clean Technology Fund they finance have played a key role in providing access to cheap financing for clean energy projects in many markets.
The two nations have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a third power link connecting their electricity systems. The news will again initiate hope for the transfer of solar energy from Africa to Europe, but is that hope justified?
The region’s climate, developing economies and demographic growth are driving increased electricity demand in the Middle East and North Africa. However, as a hub of conventional energy supply, the region has been slow to embrace PV. To capture more of the value chain and deliver the full potential of solar, there are increasing calls for distributed generation deployment to play a bigger role.
The line, supplied by the Italian PV equipment provider, will produce glass-glass and bifacial modules. Almaden’s factory is expected to begin manufacturing activities in late October.
Dr. Ahmed Alami Merrouni, responsible for R&D in Meteorology and Solar Materials degradation at Morocco-based Green Energy Park (GEP), talks about the challenges and opportunities for PV projects in the region. Soiling, he says, is a specific issue, which can impact both ROIs and O&M. In addition to explaining why GEP uses Kipp & Zonen’s DustIQ solution, he says the company is developing new software, which can offer bespoke module cleaning solutions.
The international financial institution is assisting the grid operator of the Northern African country, ONEE, in evaluating the current capacity of its very high voltage (VH) and high voltage (HV) networks to absorb additional power from renewables.
The African Development Bank has committed US$265 million to the development of two solar power plants in Morocco with a total capacity of 800 MW.
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