Achieving universal electricity access across Africa
Despite recent months of suspended load shedding and more reliable supplies from Eskom, Africa’s energy landscape is far from fixed.
Whilst some have felt relief from power blackouts, others in more remote areas still struggle with unstable or non-existent grid connections — leaving them without electricity regardless of what is happening with the grid.
Plus, despite the recent progress made in renewables, data suggests that governments must do more to bolster renewable energy supplies in sub-Saharan Africa if there is to be any hope of these countries (and the world) meeting end-of-decade energy targets.
Just how unevenly distributed is Africa’s renewable capacity, what can be done to improve this issue and how can solar brands like Pylontech help? We find out below…
A need for reform
This year, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published ‘Tracking SDG7: The energy progress report 2023’ — unveiling some interesting truths about African electricity access and the development of the continent’s renewable infrastructure.
According to the report, 10 million South Africans lacked electricity access in 2021, compared to 244 million Eastern Africans, 127 Central Africans and 186 Western Africans that lived without electrification in the same year.
Even more alarming findings show that people living in sub-Saharan Africa make up a huge 80% of the people in the word that do not have access to electricity. Plus, sub-Saharan African residents are expected to form a whopping 85% of the 660 million expected to still be without electricity by 2030.
Unfortunately, it is not hard to see why this is the case either. Less than a fifth of African countries have targets to reach universal electricity access by the end of the decade — meaning investments in reliable, accessible renewables can (and do) take the backseat when needs be.
Thus, to stop populations from growing faster than energy access is rising and remove barriers to African socioeconomic development, we need Africa to introduce comprehensive renewable energy targets across the board.
In terms of what these targets should focus on, experts have long agreed that solar power is the most promising renewable energy source for African countries due to the continent’s abundance of continuous sunshine. So, sub-Saharan areas must set objectives to increase solar PV capacity over a set time period, like South Africa has done in its Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET IP).
But not everyone will be content sitting around waiting for change, which is where Pylontech comes in!
Installers can help homeowners reach energy freedom today, thanks to Pylontech — an experienced manufacturer specialising in solar energy storage solutions.
For example, Pylontech’s US2000C is an excellent introductory battery for African residential projects. This module boasts a 48V, 2.4kWh low-voltage design and its own lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePO4) cells for the highest safety value and best lasting power. Plus, it boasts a generous warranty of up to 10 years.
What’s more, the US2000C battery is modular, with a 16-unit parallel capability, and can be installed in a rack or wall-mounted system. Thus, it is flexible enough to suit an array of application requirements.
Pylontech also supplies larger models for more demanding energy requirements, such as the UP5000. This 48V, 4.8kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) unit has just received a firmware update, giving it an impressive ‘C’ rating of 0.9 and quicker one-hour charging time.
Adding to the UP5000’s appeal are the high 4560Wh usable capacity and 95% depth of depth of discharge (DoD), which improve efficiency so fewer batteries are required per system.
We have every confidence in recommending these solutions; SegenSolar has partnered with Pylontech for many years and intends on continuing to do so in order to support Africa’s renewable energy journey.