Source: Hartmut Winkler The Conversation, 9 June 2021, photo credit: Discover Africa.com
Southern Africa is popularly associated with sunshine. Does that make the region exceptionally suited to solar energy generation?
With electricity shortages plaguing all parts of the sub-continent, a plentiful energy source that is becoming increasingly affordable to tap into seems like an ideal solution. Yet the rollout of solar power generating facilities has been very slow in the region.
Most solar power developments in the sub-continent have been in South Africa. But even in the country, solar farms account for only 2.5% of the total electricity generated. Compare that to some European countries that don’t have ample sunshine, such as Germany, where solar’s share of the total electricity generated rose above 10% last year.
So is southern Africa, and in particular its dry interior, really among the world’s best sites for solar energy generation, as is often claimed?