Solar Africa 2023 and SADC PV updates
In such a fast-developing industry, where each passing year sees PV infrastructure grow bigger, better and more accessible for remote regions, national solar events are crucial for keeping professionals up to date with developments.
Whilst the continent’s largest renewable energy exhibition, The Solar Show Africa, has already passed, plenty of countries have run their own events designed to put new technologies and products on display and encourage continued innovation. For example, Kenya recently hosted its Solar Africa exposition.
How did this event go down, what does it reveal about the Kenyan solar landscape and why does it relate to our work in the South African Development Community (SADC) areas? Find out below!
Celebrating a great turnout
This year, Solar Africa took place from the 18th to the 20th of May. Aiming to provide a platform for eastern and central African markets, the event saw upwards of 75 exhibitors and more than 4,000 visitors flock to the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi — each travelling from more than 24 different countries to be a part of the show.
With such impressive attendance figures, the event proved hugely more in demand this time around than it has done in previous years, which is a testament to the growth of solar power across Kenya.
The country added 120MW of solar power to its grid in 2021, bringing its total generation to 172MW. These additions helped Kenya double its electrification rates between 2013 and 2022, with 75% of households having access to electricity as of February last year. According to the latest figures, 100% of urban and 65% of rural areas have access to electricity in Kenya.
Impressively, despite Kenya’s electrification rates now sitting well above those of many other African countries that have struggled to establish stable grid connections, Kenya has not stopped in its efforts to improve its electricity landscape.
To reach its target of achieving 825MW installed solar capacity by 2037, Kenya has invested in numerous large-scale PV projects, including a 40MWp solar park named the Kisumu Solar One project, which is on track to reach completion in 2024.
The Kenyan government is also encouraging its population to invest in their own PV systems, offering duty-free solar panels and inverters and a 50% tax relief on initial investments in equipment for the generation, transformation and distribution of electricity to the national grid.
Although SegenSolar operates from South Africa, we also supply local installers with the equipment they need to support solar journeys further afield — like Kenya! And this is not the only country we have been eager to support lately either…
Extending our outreach
In many SADC countries, solar power is not a want, but a need — with plenty of member states feeling the worst effects of load shedding and having no access to electricity whatsoever.
As such, for some time now we have operated in a series of SADC areas, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, where electrification is alarmingly low, and now, thanks to the addition of more key areas, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Each hoping to increase their electrification rates and build a more reliable, cost-effective and diverse energy infrastructure, these countries are the perfect candidates for our array of affordable solar products.
KODAK Solar Products is a no-brainer when it comes to SADC electrification, as this brand is known for offering top-quality batteries and inverters at a competitive price. We stock the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and off-grid inverters, allowing installers to build a complete system in one place.
Equally, Victron Energy is an innovative manufacturer boasting a series of cutting-edge products that do not break the bank, like hybrid inverters that optimise solar power production. And as for alternative batteries, we supply a selection of Li-ion models from Pylontech that are heralded for their easy expansion and efficiency.
We are constantly expanding our portfolio and look forward to expanding into more SADC regions in the future. Who knows where we will operate next!