AFRICA: Unlocking Solar Capital opens on innovations in Kampala, May 31

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AFRICA: In Kampala, Unlocking Solar Capital opens for innovations on May 31 © DeanP /Shutterstock

Kampala will be in the spotlight on 31 May and 1 June 2023. The Ugandan capital is hosting the fifth edition of the Unlocking Solar Capital (USC) conference. The event, co-organised by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and Solarplaza, will bring together policy makers, service providers, regulators, independent power producers (IPPs), development finance institutions... around solar energy.

At least 600 million Africans still live without electricity, despite efforts in recent years to improve access to this basic service. But the development of new, more affordable solar energy technologies is raising hopes, especially in rural areas where extending the national electricity grid is less cost-effective for public utilities.

It is precisely to discuss the various solutions available that the solar sector players are meeting on 31 and 1 June in the Ugandan capital Kampala for the fifth edition of the Unlocking Solar Capital (USC) Africa conference. The event is co-organised by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and Solarplaza, in partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, and local solar industry associations.

Highlighting new solar energy innovations

USC Africa aims to foster collaboration between impact and climate-related development finance institutions (DFIs), venture capital and commercial companies, as well as project developers, including independent power producers (IPPs) and service and product providers. The event will host all industry segments and their synergies, from solar home systems to large-scale solar power to solar mini-grids.

Among the financial institutions expected in Kampala, Uganda, are the African Development Bank (AfDB) with its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which supports the deployment of large- and small-scale solar energy, Dutch investor Triple Jump, and Power Africa, the US government’s initiative to finance the development of installed electricity capacity on the African continent through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The challenges for Africa

With the aim of highlighting innovations in technology and business models, the USC Africa 2023 will also host energy companies such as the French company Engie, which operates in all segments of solar energy, and solar home system suppliers Qotto, d.light, Sun King and Azuri Technologies.

Decision-makers from the African continent will also be present, such as Ruth Nankabirwa, the Ugandan Minister of Energy and Mineral Development. This event is being organised at a time when African countries are relying more and more on solar energy for electrification, mainly in Africa south of the Sahara, for the energy transition in a country like South Africa, or for the diversification of the electricity mix, which has become a major issue for countries like Zambia, which is 85% dependent on hydroelectricity according to Power Africa.

However, the drought in Eastern and Southern Africa is reducing the flow of water and therefore the production of hydroelectric power stations. In this context, solar energy is a solution for stabilising the national electricity grid. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates Africa’s solar energy potential at 7 900 GW.

Pour plus d’informations sur l’évènement, cliquez ici.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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