Changes in Wind & Solar Policies Fueling Fast Growing Renewables In Sub-Saharan Africa Says New Report

Investments in solar and wind installations will triple over the next five years according to a new report released by Frost & Sullivan a global energy investment consultant. Much to the delight of local solar installers and manufactures, the solar and wind renewable energy market is starting to develop in sub-Saharan Africa, that is to say, in all African countries excluding those that boarder the Mediterranean.

Off-grid solar facilities will benefit the most the report goes on to say. Energy diversification and the need to bring off-grid electricity to rural areas will be the driving force.

In an article published by Reve, the solar and wind and off-grid energy installation forecast was made in a report from Frost & Sullivan, states that the development which will be mostly driven by off-grid solar projects, with a growth rate that is expected to be higher than 10% a year over the next five years.

The report points out several governmental agencies that are becoming fully aware of the key role played by solar and wind renewable sources to ensure energy security and electricity supplies in rural areas. Therefore, it incentivating and regulations have been applied, Even if solar projects have been implemented at a slow pace and have met still monopolizing the opposition of state utilities, investment value will triple between 2010 and 2015.

Grid-tied solar facilities, country clubs are the most active South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. Also they are expected to adopt soon supporting schemes with direct payment of the grid-connected solar renewable energy installations.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that several wind energy projects in North Africa that are currently in the development stage will be operational in 2010. Significantly this will boost the installed wind power capacity in Africa. The off-grid solar power market in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10 per cent more than between 2009 and 2015.

“South Africa and Kenya, leaders in the solar and renewable energy industry, have announced feed-in tariffs for solar installation projects along with other regional governments that are currently investigating opportunities for solar installation projects,” says Frost & Sullivan energy and power systems program manager Cornelis van der Waal . “Many agencies developmental solar and renewable energy consider small-scale off-grid solar installation projects as the most feasible solution for accelerated rural electrification and increasingly therefore are investing in medium-sized projects, especially wind and solar installation projects.”

However, the slow pace of regulatory reform and the continued monopolies of state utilities to form large-scale challenge to solar and wind renewable energy projects. A revamp of the industry is needed to accelerate the pace of development and the private sector, in particular, should be given such incentives to invest in a sustainable sector.

“For example, in South Africa, There is huge investment planning towards the development of a large scale wind farm industry which is currently hampered by solar and renewable energy caps and time-consuming power purchase agreements (PPA) signings,” explains Van der Waal.

South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda Are exploring the inclusion of grid-connected solar power Into the renewable energy national feed-in tariff (REFIT) policy. Companies with local manufacturing capacity will be the first choice to supply the solar photovoltaic technology.

“South Africa is expected to approve the solar renewable energy feed-in tariff for grid-connected solar power in 2010,” conclude Van der Waal. “This will allow local products with local manufacturing companies to capitalism on the feed-in tariff Laws.”