There’s lots of sunshine in Africa. Now, the trick is putting it to work.
Today, the Solar Central & East Africa Summit kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya. Officials from Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Congo and Ethiopia will network with trade reps from the solar industry.
Many of these African countries are close to the equator, which means plenty of heat. But solar power doesn’t do so well with rain or humidity. Where solar works efficiently in Africa, the industry is starting to heat up.
Alex Klein, research director at IHS, says solar helps meet the need for new sources of energy.
“Because of the significant drop in the cost of solar over the past few years, solar is now competitive as a way to displace some of that oil use for power generation,” Klein says. “It can be more cost effective.”
Stephen Mullennix is senior vice president of operations for SolarReserve, which has some solar projects underway in South Africa. He says the company hopes to expand into other African countries.
“If you look at population growth, economic growth, Africa is one of the greatest growth opportunities in the world,” Mullennix says. “And that’s sort of across different economic sectors. All of those economic sectors depend on stable available power supply. So that feeds very nicely into what we do.”
Banks seem to recognize that economic potential as well.
“Generally, the financial community is looking quite favorably at sub-Saharan Africa and areas of central Africa. So that’s a positive,” says Mullennix.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.