Prospects for investment in large-scale, grid-connected solar power in Africa

Solar power in Africa is on its way to becoming a market-based commodity, thus escaping the niche for individual electricity supply that is mainly supported by international donor organisations. Significant reductions in the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels and a 400 percent increase in oil prices since the 1990s have changed the competiveness of solar PV in all markets, ranging from individual households via institutions to mini-grids and grid-connected installations. In volume and investment, the market for large-scale grid-connected solar power plants is by far the most important, and as production costs are today competitive with large-scale diesel, this market is rapidly emerging. Donor-influenced plans and visions for solar PV development have often been optimistic with regard to the diffusion of solar PV in Africa, but the last three years of development, in terms of a number of large-scale investments in grid-connected solar power plants and local assembly facilities for PV panels, have exceeded even optimistic scenarios. Finally, therefore, there seem to be bright prospects for investment in large-scale grid-connected solar power in Africa.

Authors:Ivan Nygaard, Mathilde Brix Pedersen, Ulrich Elmer Hansen
Published year:2014
Content type:Report
File: Download
Orbit ID:dc442341-9ab0-4fe3-ae65-2d7bb056b563
Publisher:UNEP Risø Centre, Technical University of Denmark
Is current:Current
No. of pages:24