(Ecofin Agency) – A solar energy revolution of the same scale and importance as the rapid expansion of mobile telephony that took place two decades ago is soon coming to Africa, according to Adnan Amin, director of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This revolution will be driven by the rapid drop in solar energy production costs, combined with the continent’s high potential in terms of sunshine and the proportion of the population not yet having access to electricity (more than 600 millions of people).
“Africa has enormous potential for solar energy. Harnessing this resource is more accessible and cheaper than ever. Electricity from solar power plants, whether distributed through national power grids or off-grid, offers a fairly competitive price, “the official said in an interview with Reuters.
The rapid evolution of the prepaid solar home installation market, notably thanks to the integration of mobile telephony, is one of the best examples of the transformation underway. About 450,000 such facilities have already been deployed on the continent, according to the official, supplying about 60 million people.
However, the coming energy revolution will need the support of public authorities in terms of legal framework and national strategies in order to attract as many investors as possible.