“It’s hard but we shouldn’t give up. Success will come step by step.” Dante Carraro, a missionary, has no doubts. In concert with the NGO Doctors with Africa CUAMM he has opened 23 hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa, so for him, nothing is impossible. With the help of Enel Green Power two hospitals will be able to draw on a mini-grid and solar energy – the St. Luke Catholic Hospital in Ethiopia and the Chiulo Hospital in Angola.
Step by step, no stopping. Carraro’s method is also the strategy that emerged from the seventh Annual Conference of RES4MED&Africa, which was held on 22 June at the Enel Auditorium under the title “A call for Africa: Enabling Sustainable Projects.” The spotlight fell on the most pressing problem facing the African continent – access to “affordable and clean energy,” the seventh sustainable development goal on the UN’s 2030 Agenda, one on which many other goals depend. More than 30 speakers took part, from international organisations, private enterprises, universities and financial institutions.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced today that he will lead a delegation from the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) on a fact-finding mission to Ghana later this month. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan will head the delegation on stops in Ethiopia, Kenya and Côte D’Ivoire as well as accompany Secretary Ross in Ghana. These visits provide an opportunity for the delegation to gather insight into market opportunities and challenges faced by U.S. businesses in these fast-growing economies. The PAC-DBIA will use this information to provide President Trump with reliable and actionable recommendations to deepen commercial relationships in these countries.
“President Trump and I firmly believe that American companies, working in conjunction with the African business community, will help African countries develop and, ultimately, take their rightful place within the international economic system,” said Secretary Ross. “U.S. companies can supply both cutting-edge technology and superior know-how regarding corporate governance and project management to emerging markets across Africa.”
It is Africa’s solar power moment. African governments and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) recognize the incredible opportunity to overcome African electricity poverty by utilizing one of the continent’s most abundant natural resources — the sun. Solar power capacity comprises over 90 percent of an estimated 10 terawatts of sub-Saharan Africa’s total potential power capacity.¹ The levels of Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI), the amount of radiation received by a horizontal surface, across Africa are among the highest in the world making solar photovoltaic (PV) systems an attractive power option for African governments.²
Solar Prices Are Reaching Record Lows. Sub-Saharan African governments and foreign direct investors are developing policy frameworks, goals, and financing mechanisms, to diversify their generation mix. While gas and hydropower will continue to dominate sub-Saharan Africa’s power generation mix, particularly for baseload power utilization, solar capacity is expected to increase as a major power resource as technology prices continue to fall and solar tariffs become increasingly cost competitive with other thermal and renewable resources. Also, rapid advances in battery technology and storage business models are likely in coming years to make solar plus storage a viable baseload option at scale. By 2030, solar is projected to become one of the least expensive new energy sources in sub-Saharan Africa as investment climates improve, procurement processes become increasingly transparent and competitive, and demand continues to rise.
"Free solar panels" is a marketing phrase you're likely to see bandied about if you're in the market for a residential solar energy system. "Buyer beware" is common wisdom, and that phrase should pop into your mind immediately if you come across a sales or marketing pitch touting free solar panels (or free anything really). Invariably, what you'll find if you dig deeper into any offer of free solar panels is that they really aren't free. You'll pay for them in one way or another, even though it may not cost you anything to have the solar panels, as well as the inverters, wiring, etc. that goes into a functional solar home energy system, installed and brought up and running initially, there will be payments.
Market-leading third-party owned (TPO) solar lease companies have grown into multi-billion dollar businesses by taking exactly that approach. Offering to install a home solar energy system for zero money down, pioneering residential solar finance providers, such as SolarCity (or Tesla-SolarCity), Sunrun and Vivint, own, operate and maintain customers' rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.