Africa’s annual PV additions hit 3.7 GW in 2023

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From pv magazine France

AFSIA has released a new annual report on PV deployment in Africa. It said the continent connected around 3.7 GW of new solar capacity in 2023.

About 65% of the new installations were industrial and commercial (C&I) power plants for self-consumption, said AFSIA. “Unlike other regions of the world, there have been only a handful of large-scale projects, responding to government requests, that have been connected to the African power grid in 2023,” it added.

The association estimated that Africa passed the 16 GW threshold of cumulative installed PV capacity at the end of December. However, that “does not take into account residential installations which are not monitored by AFSIA,” it added. The figure is only based on projects it has identified, while some projects may still be unknown at this stage, it explained.

In 2023, the continent installed 3.7 GW of new capacity. South Africa accounted for nearly 3 GW of the total, primarily driven by C&I projects (75%). The country’s connected PV capacity increased from 4.2 GW in 2022 to 7.1 GW by the end of 2023.

“By quickly changing tack to focus on self-consumption, South Africans are showing the rest of the continent the way forward. A path where alternative options exist and are financially viable in the event of failure of the national public utility,” said AFSIA. “The South Africans had no choice and had to adapt very quickly.”

Burkina Faso has installed the second-most solar capacity in Africa with 92 MW, followed by Mauritania with 84 MW, Kenya with 69.5 MW, and the Democratic Republic of Congo with 40 MW. Except for Mauritania, where all of the new capacity is C&I, these countries have built large-scale projects. Another 15 countries installed more than 10 MW each last year, but most African states remain below 1 MW of installed capacity.

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