Categories
Energy

Africa shifts focus on off-grid technology

Africa is finally transcending into off-grid renewables to ensure that electricity is available to its vast population. The deviation from policies to devolution of electricity is now the new trend gracing the electricity suppliers. Initially, the challenge of venturing solar power was the high prices of installing the facilities and the low quality of this technology’s equipment to take effect. But currently, the materials’ costs are low, and the technology to proceed with the installation process is ready for the generation of off-grid renewable energy.

The need to counter global warming and the health advantages for this process are steering the quick advancement in renewables’ venture. Off-grid in African countries refers to solar energy ranging from devolved units to powering significant towns.

The market for renewables is growing significantly in East Africa, where over 2 million solar products have been sold. Reports indicate that people who have replaced their systems with renewables enjoy a better life with clean air and no power outages. Initially, people would complain of blackouts in the best part of the evenings when they return from work since there was a surge in the number of users plugging into the grid. Currently, people can use electricity from renewables for profitable activities. In Africa, people need to tune in to the off-grid renewable energy and avoid kerosene and other fuels since they are hazardous.

The IEA estimates that Africa can surpass the previous renewable energy capacity from 6 GW last year to 15 GW. This growth will be visible in the next two decades, provided the countries continue to pursue the transition to renewables. Nonetheless, investors in the private sector will run for these profitable projects to gain from the venture while it is still anew.

There are over 100 million African homes without electricity. This statistic proves that supplying renewable energy in these homes would require both the government and the private sector’s persistent efforts to enable them to realize zero-emissions and urbanization of all countries. Additionally, the investors would feel the burden of supplying power to rural areas where it is less profitable than in urban areas where high demand leads to high profitability.

Although there is some progress in installing renewable energy facilities, the current challenge of the pandemic is impeding the financial growth of solar energy firms. The firms have to invest financially in the projects and paying employees to propel them to resume operations. 

To conclude, African countries must focus on deploying renewable energy technology to propel electricity’s accessibility to rural areas. Mountainous regions can develop mini-grid power systems to supply electricity to residents and businesses dwelling in those places.