African Solar Sluggish as the Rest of the World Soars
Unlike the rest of the world, solar PV installations fell sharply in Africa in 2020, and in 2021 they remained below their pre-pandemic level.
The roll-out of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is a major driving force behind the global energy transition. In 2021, some 152GW of new solar PV capacity was added worldwide – around 50% more than the annual deployment figure for wind that year. Even with Covid-19, surging commodity prices and supply chain issues, this figure is significantly up on the 138GW of solar capacity added in 2020, or the 105GW added in 2019, shows data from GlobalData, Energy Monitor’s parent company.
Africa should be well poised to take advantage of solar power. Its largely hot and sunny climate provides perfect conditions for the technology, while solar’s low capital cost should be attractive for countries with less-developed economies.
Nevertheless, data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that the solar industry is struggling in Africa. Unlike the rest of the world, solar PV installations fell sharply in Africa in 2020, and in 2021 they remained below their pre-pandemic level, shows data from the IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook.