Solar PV in Africa

The business case for PV in Africa is stronger than ever thanks to rapidly declining technology costs, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). »Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets«, estimates that installed costs for power generated by utility-scale solar PV projects in Africa have decreased as much as 61% since 2012. Today, installed costs for these projects are as low as $1.30 per watt in Africa, compared to the global average of $1.80 per watt. »In recent years, solar PV costs have dropped dramatically and will continue to do so with further declines of up to 59 per cent possible in the next ten years,« said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

Global capacity additions for solar PV have increased six-fold since 2009, a trend that is now beginning to materialize in Africa. More than 800 new MW of solar PV capacity was added in Africa in 2014 – doubling the continents cumulative capacity – and another 750 MW was added in 2015, finds the report. IRENA estimates that with the right enabling policies, Africa could be home to more than 70 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030.

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