SADC joins the Gigawatt Club
Gaborone – Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are leading the continental charge to transition to clean energy, with solar power being the option of choice.
This is according to the first annual African Solar Energy Outlook 2021 Report by the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSA).
The reports says that 37 countries in the world have joined the “Gigawatt Club”, a reference to states that have installed more than 1GW of solar electricity capacity. Only two, though, are in Africa; namely South Africa and Egypt.
However, another nine African nations could soon join the club, and majority of them are in SADC.
These countries include Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The time has come finally come for private players to take their faith into their own hands and several industrial groups are now planning sizable projects which will serve both their own consumption and the grid,” the report says.
In Zimbabwe, the government has been encouraging private sector participation in solar electricity provision; while in Angola, the DRC and Zambia, governments are awarding contracts directly to developers without going to tender. Botswana and Namibia are individually and jointly pursuing solar grid-scale development.
The report says, “Finally, an international initiative will see Namibia and Botswana develop 5GW of solar PV and CSP. This initiative is meant for both domestic consumption and export and should see group pf 12 other countries join down the road.”
AFSA head Mr John Van Zuylen said: “We are entering a decade of wonderful prospects, a decade in which solar professionals are a in position to achieve universal electrification targets across the continent, thereby impacting the living conditions of 600 million people and boost the continental economy by providing better and cheaper electricity to the companies and industries that have been asking for it for a long time.”