Africa has an unstable electricity supply which is largely reliant on coal-fired powered stations. In Southern Africa, only 48% of the population has access to electricity.
This has constrained economic growth and raises concerns with respect to social development. There is need to consider alternative energy sources in addressing these challenges and the UN Paris Agreement of 2015 has put a major focus on renewable energy as a viable option (including solar). As a result and in light of the sub-region’s demand gap, Southern Africa is well positioned for solar uptake growth, with benefits that include easing of pressure on national grids, the use of cleaner energy, mass rural electrification and establishing some balance with regards to energy supply and demand dynamics.
Our research focuses on how solar can play an increasingly important role in addressing electricity supply security and inclusive access in Southern Africa. The study examines the markets in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia based on the potential from an uptake and buy-in standpoint. Southern Africa has favourable exposure to sunlight and is ideal for solar power. Advancements in technology is lowering global solar prices, making it an attractive option for a wider range of market segments. For instance, within a price sensitive region (such as Southern Africa) where the GDP per capita is US$2,114 per year. With improved government policies and innovative go-to-market models, solar demand within Southern Africa is anticipated to grow sizeably; benefiting suppliers, customers and other industry stakeholders over the longer-term.
All in all, Birguid forecasts modest revenue growth for the sector between 2021 and 2025. The report identifies key opportunities within the market based on this growth, highlighting business models that can be exploited to take full advantage of the profiled opportunities across the sub-region’s residential, and commercial and industrial sub-segments.