Africa gains ground in solar energy increase

The household solar market in Africa is expected to get a boost as British ingenuity in the field will be rolled out via the Energy Africa campaign in an attempt to combat low levels of electricity access and associated high costs experienced throughout Africa.

According to Grant Shapps the United Kingdom's International Development Minister, the Energy Africa campaign will create a fundamental change in sub-Saharan Africa’s household solar market.

As of today, approximately two-thirds of people living in sub-Saharan Africa are denied access to electricity. Transforming the country’s household solar market will is anticipated to bring universal energy access to Africa by 2030. At the existing rate, experts estimate universal energy access will not occur until 2080.

“It is shocking that around 2 out of 3 of the African population have no electricity in their homes,” Shapps said. “This not only holds back individuals, but entire nations. It prevents businesses from trading and holds back economic growth – indeed outages cost African countries 1-2% of their annual GDP.

Expanded access to electricity is projected to allow for increased economic productivity and the furthering of educational opportunities.

“I have seen for myself how people’s lives can be transformed with the installation of a simple solar panel system,” Shapps said. “The technology is there – all we have to do is remove the barriers stifling the market. This is what Energy Africa will help do. It has the power to help millions of Africans lift themselves out of poverty and transform the prospects of an entire continent – something that is good for Africa but good for Britain too.”

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Department for International Development - UK

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