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New Solar Rush Coming to Africa

Africa is  the continent most poised to benefit from the Green Revolution. She has sun coverage like almost no other place on Earth, and a host of potential investors looking to make solar energy on the continent a reality.

Indeed, Africa may become a harbinger of things to come for the developing world — to skip right over centralized generation and into on site, or distributed power. The goal is to bring electricity to the 500 million people there without it, which is the primary building block when it comes to quality of life and economic progress. The World Bank Group will invest $200 billion globally to 2025 to help developing countries move to a low-carbon future.

‘While the market is still small, it has great potential,’ says Takehiro Kawahara, lead frontier power analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in a just-released report. ‘An immense energy deficit and crumbling infrastructure makes Sub-Saharan Africa fertile ground for solar.’” 

Africa is set to experience large population growth in the next 50 years, and the economic output gained from that growth is set to be invested heavily in infrastructure. 

By 2050, Africa is expected to grow from 1.1 billion people to 2 billion, with a total economic output of $15 trillion — money to be targeted to infrastructure and specifically energy and transportation. Global businesses see potential, having already invested tens of billions: General Electric, ABB, Alstom, Siemens and Schneider Electric are among the risk takers. 

While the United States has been slow in coming, the European Union and China have been flocking there. Still, the U.S. has the $7 billion Power Africa initiative established in 2013 and the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which has given Africans duty-free access to thousands of U.S. products. It is a non-reciprocal agreement but, it has opened up the continent to American capital and the possibility for closer economic links.” 

Read the full article at Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2019/01/28/solar-energy-could-light-up-africa-and-global-businesses-see-opportunity/#2538deb15cfd

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