The business case for solar photovoltaics (PV) in Africa is stronger than ever thanks to rapidly declining technology costs, according to a new report from IRENA.
Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets, estimates that installed costs for power generated by utility-scale solar PV projects in Africa have decreased as much as 61% since 2012. Today, installed costs for these projects are as low as USD 1.30 per watt in Africa, compared to the global average of USD 1.80 per watt. These cost reductions, coupled with vast solar potential on the continent, present a huge opportunity for Africa to increase energy access, improve quality of life and mitigate climate change.
Mini-grids utilising solar PV and off-grid solar home systems also provide higher quality energy services at the same or lower costs than the alternatives, finds the report. Stand-alone solar PV mini-grids have installed costs in Africa as low as USD 1.90 per watt for systems larger than 200 kW. Solar home systems – which have tripled in Africa between 2010 and 2014 – provide the annual electricity needs of off-grid households for as little as USD 56 per year, less than what they currently pay for poor quality energy services.
Download the report here: http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=36&CatID=141&SubcatID=2744