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PV Solar Upsurge in Africa,Uganda and Zambia got its plan

Release:2017/02/08 Company News

With up to 12 hours sunshine duration over Africa on the equator and only 20% or so grid coverage, Africa is a very potential area for solar energy, which has been attracting many developers recently. Under such background,the first east African solar power plant located in Uganda started operation,meanwhile,International Finance Center (IFC) plans to provide financial aid to central African country Zambia for solar energy development, but faced with some trouble.

First east African solar power plant was completed

The biggest solar power plant with total 9 million dollars cost started operation in Dec,2016, which will hopefully help reform ugandan present power resource mainly composed by waterpower and diesel power.Mr.ZiriaTibalwaWaako,acting director of ERA (Electricity Authority) in Uganda put that electricity is regarded as luxury with price up to 15 USD cents per KWH owing to less than 20% low grid coverage rate. Government expects this power plant can join the past power resource to help lower electricity price and improve people’s living.

Right timing for supporting Zambia solar power development?

Zambia,located in Central Africa was endowed with IFC’s “ScalingSolar” aiding program in June, 2016 to construct solar power plant, which enabled  Zambian government to rapidly develop clean renewable energy of low cost in the small scale and unclear market.This aiding program aroused investment enthusiasm in the past, but recently being questioned.

In June,2016,NeoenSAS and FirstSolar from France won the bidding from ScalingSolar by submitting the globally lowest bid 0.0602$/kWH. “Although IFC successfully offered low price for electricity buyer and settled bidders,this still brought doubt to the sustainability of this program,this is Africa after all!”said Actis Investment Director JamesMittell.He thinks that IFC is too radical,as there are still many aspects to be evaluated,such as land problem,policy stability,investment cycle etc.

Electricity FIT was reduced all over Africa influenced by this bidding,which seems a promising start,however,it brought impact on FIT in Egypt and people start worrying about the risk of investment. In this case, IFC’s financial support is not helping the solar energy investment on the contrary.