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Nigeria and Ghana become new gigawatt Solar Markets for Investors

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Solar Markets Africa

Africa is the new solar frontier for many large solar investors, given the huge energy demand and lack of capital. The country has very low levels of electricity penetration and many countries do not have fossil fuels to generate power. On the other hand, the continent has abundant amount of solar radiation and large swathes of land where population density is low. Northern Africa was thought of as an ideal region for generation of hundreds of GW of solar power to power Europe. This would reduce European reliance on Russian gas and also benefit European companies. However, Desertec has imploded with many of its main sponsors leaving solar energy. But the potential remains and some countries such as Morocco are going ahead with building of large solar farms to feed their own internal requirements.

Chinese and European solar investors are also targeting stable African countries with large energy needs such as Nigeria and Ghana. South Africa has already concluded two rounds of a very successful renewable energy auction program. I am not sure whether these investors will succeed in their ambition of building massive solar farms. There will be the question of how the electricity will be paid by poor African countries, given that solar energy is still much more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

Africa will definitely see very high growth in solar energy because of the falling costs of solar energy and the rising demand from African customers. The way to go is to increase rooftop solar penetration and use of micro grids in villages. Africa can pioneer a new distributed green way of energy generation and consumption given the low level of electricity infrastructure maturity. The continent does not have a large power grid which means that solar energy can circumvent the need to for massive investments in electricity distribution and transmission lines.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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