Lessons from Kenya about what’s holding back solar technology in Africa
The spread of solar and other modern energy technologies in African countries is considerably low. Despite the global viability and growth in the solar energy market, African countries continue to lag behind. They represent less than 1% of the market demand for solar energy.
The region accounts for only 9% of the global installed capacity of photo-voltaics (PV) which convert light into electricity using semi-conducting materials. The solar PV technology power generation rate rose from 1% in 2010 to just between 3% and 4% in 2013.
This is despite the fact that Africa has the best solar resource in the world. Most countries on the African continent receive between 4 – 6 kWh/m2/day in most months of the year. This means that in a day, a square metre of solar panel can generate 4 to 6 kilowatt units of electricity. In simple terms, it could power 400 – 600 10-watt light bulbs for one hour.