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Getting climate, energy & environment news right.

Private firms are driving a revolution in solar power in Africa

The Economist reports on private firms that are driving solar development.

The C3 Take
  • African energy poverty is a significant issue, with 43% of the population lacking access to electricity, hindering economic growth and business development.
  • Solar is being seen as a solution with industry estimates suggest that more than 400m Africans get electricity from solar home systems and that more than ten times as many “mini-grids”, most of which use solar, were built in 2016-20 than in the preceding five years.
  • Ignite is one app that provides solar-powered irrigation pumps, stoves and internet routers, and industrial systems that customers can pay for on mobile apps.

“Namibia, one of the sunniest countries, last year made it easier for private producers to sell electricity into the regional power pool. It sees its future role as more of a platform for the buying and selling of electricity than as a generator and distributor. But others are resisting change. Senegal, Mozambique and Tanzania, for instance, still tangle up firms in red tape. Other countries are hoping that the ‘geopolitics of solar’ will mean that foreign powers seeking influence in Africa will pay to build the solar plants that their bankrupt utilities cannot otherwise afford, argues one industry veteran.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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