Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Southern Africa renewables poised for "exponential growth"

Off-grid solar projects are likely to accelerate renewable energy's expansion in southern Africa to compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10% between 2009 and 2015, finds Frost & Sullivan. But the research company's Annual Renewable Energy Project Tracker highlights feed-in tariffs – already announced in South Africa and Kenya – as key to this surge in renewables.

The Sub-Saharan renewable energy market is set to triple from 2010 to 2015, said the global research firm Frost and Sullivan in a new report this week. Small-scale generation is likely to take the lead, while sluggish regulatory reform and enduring state monopolies hold back larger projects.

"Many developmental agencies consider small-scale RE [renewable energy] projects as the most feasible solution for accelerated rural electrification and therefore are increasingly investing in medium-sized projects, especially wind and solar projects," said Cornelis van der Waal, Frost & Sullivan Energy and Power Systems programme manager.

But he called for a “revamp” to accelerate the search for energy diversification and security of supply, with incentives for the private sector to invest.

South Africa is expected to approve a feed-in tariff for solar this year, a move also under consideration in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, he said.

I am currently involved with a wind and PV development project in Namibia and would be happy to have a discussion with potential investors or senior developers.

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