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PARIS – For much of Africa, the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy is seen as an environmental imperative. With fossil fuels comprising a majority – as high as 70% in some cases – of the energy mix, the situation on the continent is indeed ecologically dire.

But Africa’s energy transition is economically urgent as well. Each year, oil subsidies consume 1.5% of the continent’s GDP – roughly $50 billion. That is enough money to provide solar power to some 300 million people. If the continent could rebalance its energy portfolio, moving away from hydrocarbons slowly, those subsidies could be reallocated in ways that would yield both environmental and economic benefits.

Today, neither oil exporters nor importers are adequately insulated from price shocks. When oil prices declined rapidly in 2015, for example, Africa’s energy importers spent less on oil, while exporting countries suffered financially. When prices rebounded, the relationship switched: energy-exporting countries’ revenues inched up, while importing countries struggled to maintain consumption levels.

This is a needless cycle. Integrating cleaner power into national energy systems would not only raise local capacities; it would also free up hydrocarbons for export. The resulting revenue could then be invested into new forms of greener power. Such a transition, which would require cooperation with the oil sector, promises to boost socioeconomic progress.

Among the biggest benefits would be the electrification of areas that, under current distribution systems, are literally in the dark. Today, just 30% of Africa has access to reliable electricity. But, with a total capacity estimated at around ten terawatts, installed solar capacity in Africa could broaden access dramatically. In fact, according to some estimates, the increase in solar generation by 2030 could range from 15 to 62 gigawatts.

Fossil fuels are not destined to be phased out anytime soon, but an energy mix that included a significant increase in solar power would have major economic advantages for Africa, especially in areas where agriculture is the largest economic sector. Electrifying agricultural areas would facilitate the storage and transportation of farmed products, improve food security, and increase farmers’ earning capacity.

In the drive to rebalance Africa’s energy mix, the continent maintains one crucial advantage over developed economies: a clean slate. The relative absence of legacy investments is the principal reason why green power is Africa’s best energy option. Although every country must balance its own energy needs, reliance on renewable sources, and solar power in particular, is the most cost-efficient strategy for fostering rapid economic development throughout the continent.

Evidence of this potential can be found in the few photovoltaic power plants that have begun operating in Africa. For example, the Senergy 2 solar plant in Senegal sells electricity to the Senegalese power utility at a price that lowers the cost of the energy mix by 50%. Similar solar solutions are being implemented by African telecoms to electrify communication towers.

The best way to accelerate the transition from hydrocarbons to greener forms of energy would be to redirect a portion of national oil subsidies to renewables. This would create stronger incentives to reduce fossil-fuel consumption, while encouraging investment and growth in green-energy output. For Africa’s rural regions, moreover, such policies would help bring communities out of darkness and lead to the installation of other critical infrastructure that economic growth requires.

But while renewables hold the key to Africa’s long-term prosperity, the continent’s transition to cleaner power should not lead to an immediate, full-scale repudiation of hydrocarbons. The oil sector will still have an important role to play. The industry’s experience on the continent will be needed to navigate the energy transformation. And, because fossil fuels will remain part of the continent’s energy mix, the oil sector must be encouraged to clean up its own act.

This may sound like an impossible alliance. But as policymakers across the continent seek to secure adequate supplies of clean energy to ensure rapid, inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability, they are likely to find that there is no alternative. Cooperation between old and new energy industries may be the only engine that is capable of powering Africa forward.

By Charlotte Aubin is CEO of GreenWish Partners, a renewable-power producer dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Copyright: Project Syndicate.

January 15, 2018

Source: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/227609/
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Thank you ALL for this AMAZING year and see you soon with lots of NEW Solar Products coming online at beginning 2018 !

www.solar-africa-shop.com - 1st BtoB e-commerce solar wesbite

ALL products at FACTORY PRICES !!
REGULAR SHIPLINES to 24 COUNTRIES !

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR !

The #SolarAfricaShop Team !
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Futurapolis : Solarpak, la révolution du « cartable solaire »

UNE JOURNÉE DE CHARGE OFFRE QUATRE À CINQ HEURES D’AUTONOMIE POUR LA LAMPE !

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+Solar AfricaShop
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"Africa receives much more sunlight during the year than any other continent.
In addition, the theoretical reserves of solar energy in Africa are estimated at 60,000,000 TWh / year, which represents nearly 40% of the world total, which certainly makes Africa the richest continent in Africa. solar energy in the world.
Besides the large solar power plants that are expanding throughout Africa, there are also many small-scale modular solar installations implemented across the continent at the village and household levels."

SOLAR AFRICA SHOP – the 1st BtoB SOLAR website !
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http://www.africa-solar-energy.com/lenergie-solaire-afrique/
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Orders in process for our next container to NAMIBIA - WALVIS BAY in December !

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Solar Panel 240W Polycristalline TIANWEI at 0.38$/Watt EXW !!
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SOLAR AFRICA SHOP – the 1st BtoB SOLAR website !
ALL products at FACTORY PRICES !!
DIRECT from MANUFACTURERS !!
REGULAR shiplines to 24 COUNTRIES !

#SolarAfricaShop #PV #solarafricashop #photovoltaic #solarpanels #BtoB #renewableenergy #solarpower #solarenergy #solarpanels #africa #autonomy #solarproducts #solarbattery #solarinverters #solar #panneauxsolaires #solarcables #solarmountingstructures #greenenergy
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Solar Panel 210W Polycristalline TIANWEI at 0.38$/Watt EXW !!
10 years Guarantee
25 years Performance Guarantee
High-performance modules with reliable quality
IP65
Grade A
ISO 9001, TÜV, CE, UL, PV CYCLE Compliant

SOLAR AFRICA SHOP – the 1st BtoB SOLAR website !
ALL products at FACTORY PRICES !!
DIRECT from MANUFACTURERS !!
REGULAR shiplines to 24 COUNTRIES !

https://www.solar-africa-shop.com/solar-panels/solar-panel-210w-poly-tianwei

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INDIAN OCEAN Cyclonic Season is coming !!!
Dear Solar Installers, are you sure you have the adequate structure to secure your solar panels ?
Have a look at our PV MOUNTING RAILS & accessories from SCHÜCO, specially designed for ZONE 5 regions !

Aluminium PV MOUNTING RAIL - base 3 / 144 6m15 by SCHÜCO
Suitable for cyclonic region ZONE 5
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Basic profiles in different versions for increased stability, even in cases where there are few stabilization points

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