Financing is the main bottleneck in the African solar industry, while private sector support is key for the deployment of PV projects. High quality products and solutions are also a focus. This is what came out of the recent Solar Show Africa event, held last week in Johannesburg.
The French multinational telecommunications corporation has announced a plan to begin providing off-grid solar solutions to Burkina Faso and, at a later stage, in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast.
In an unexpected turn of events, two unions representing coal interests have put a halt to the signing of 27 renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs), thus effectively stopping South Africa’s renewables industry in its tracks.
The South African Government has set a date of March 13 for the signing of 27 outstanding PPAs for solar and wind. It emphasized the economic benefits of the contracts, which are set to spur new energy investment of around US$4.7 billion and over 60,000 jobs.
The announcement was made by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA). The PPAs relate to 26 renewable energy projects, of which 12 totaling 813 MW are for large-scale PV plants selected in round 4 of the REIPPPP program.
GCL-Poly Energy has announced a handful of service deals among several of its subsidiaries dating back to 2016, in line with disclosure requirements related to a recent share subscription by its Hong Kong-listed solar O&M unit, GCL New Energy (GNE).
The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has called on the country’s government for more PV support. Energy specialist, Chris Ahlfeldt comments on the five point PV plan, which envisages 1.5 GW of new installs annually, and the creation of 55,000 jobs. He also discusses the ongoing issue of the 27 unsigned PPAs, and the bottlenecks in the market.
The U.S.-based off-grid specialist will use these financial resources to expand its business in Asia and Africa.
According to a new study conducted by the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, a mix of solar and wind may be over 10% cheaper than power generation from new coal and nuclear plants in South Africa, even if the cost of renewables and batteries will see no further reduction from today until 2050.
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