Saturday, February 22, 2014

Solar energy option for Africa still work in progress

Africa's demand for power is rapidly growing and Black Continent is already looking at the possible energy solutions for years to come. Renewable energy sources seem like a logical solution and few seem to be better than solar energy because Africa gets plenty of sunshine throughout the entire year. Solar energy projects, however, do not come cheap, and Africa will need major investments from abroad in order to kickstart solar energy development.

One of the upcoming events, Africa Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, which will take place from 27 to 29th March, in Durban, South Africa, will also discuss the future of solar energy in Africa.

It is appropriate that this event will take place in South Africa, because this country should lead the way in continent's solar energy development. In fact, South Africa has already announced plan to construct 8.4 GW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity by the 2030. South Africa is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing  PV markets in the world, after successfully attracting foreign investors.

This South African example should show the path for many other African countries, and though solar energy still belongs to the more expensive energy sources, it is becoming more and more cost-competitive with other energy sources, especially the renewable ones.

The installation of new solar energy projects in Africa is taking place in many African countries, though this is yet to reach the levels of those in South Africa. To some of these countries new solar energy projects might become economic boost that will open many new jobs.

The future of solar energy in Africa is still open for debate, the potential is certainly there but a lot of it also depends on investments and political will. Things are currently developing slowly but are at least going in the right direction.