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by Joshua Low, Messe Frankfurt South Africa  –  

Solar power capacity and energy generation has seen a rapid increase over the last decade, becoming the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the world. Thanks to technological advances, a sharp decline in costs, improved policies and growing concerns over climate change, renewable energy has been placed front and centre on both public and private agendas.

Joshua Low

While the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has stifled growth in 2020, with demand decreasing across both the private, commercial and utility sectors, Africa’s growing population and rapid urbanisation has meant that identifying solutions and designing systems for resilient and resource-efficient cities is imperative.

It is critical that solutions to address the current supply chain disruptions and loss of investment are identified to prevent delays and cancellations of projects being commissioned in Africa. The continent’s energy deficit, which has been caused by an ageing fleet of power plants run by public utilities, requires both the public and private sectors to rethink the energy mix to meet future demand.

Despite setbacks and power constraints, many African countries have bountiful renewable energy resources – particularly in the form of solar energy, which has the potential to guarantee energy security for these countries.

The upcoming Solar Power Africa event is a prime platform to facilitate dialogue and unlock the potential solar energy offers. The event, which is set to take place from 16 – 20 November 2020 will bring together an extensive alliance of local and internationally renowned industry leaders, stakeholders and experts to discuss strategies which aim to provide greater access to solar power and clean energy solutions on the continent.

The conference is aimed at all industries, both public and private, forming part of the renewable energy industry value chain. This includes installers, contractors and producers, major utility companies, energy storage experts, smart energy professionals, finance, industry bodies and government.

Consisting of six plenary sessions and over 12 specialised breakaway streams, Solar Power Africa will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Multimode and microgrid energy storage solutions
  • Transformation within the solar and renewable energy sectors
  • Private sector’s role in investing in electricity infrastructure and its contribution to the energy sector
  • Large- and small-scale solar financing solutions
  • Expanding off-grid energy into Africa

Click here to register for Solar Power Africa

The global lockdown and regulations aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 have meant that Solar Power Africa will be a virtual conference. One of the benefits of virtual conferencing is the ability for delegates to access the content on offer from anywhere in the world.

The event will be supported by a Solar Power Africa virtual marketplace – an online directory of suppliers and service providers to the industry with added functionality including: AI matchmaking, built-in videoconferencing, live streaming of content for product launches, demos and a host of other benefits. This platform went live on 1 November and will stay open for 12 months, offering people listed on the platform a cost-effective way to promote their products and services to a captive audience.

Both the virtual conference and virtual marketplace platforms will be run in partnership with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

Despite the current economic challenges, the outlook for solar energy as a viable source of energy remains strong in the medium term.

Solar Power Africa provides the perfect platform for dialogue around the most pressing energy issues the continent faces. Finding solutions to these challenges will not only result in greater access to renewable energy sources for those who need it the most, but will also help reduce the financial burden governments experience when trying to meet their nation’s energy requirements.

Click here to register for Solar Power Africa