The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Southern Africa Extends Solar Presence at SPI

Eight solar power firm owners and operators from five Southern African countries attended the Solar Power International (SPI) conference in Orlando, Florida last week. Firm owners from Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia met with potential U.S. technology and investment partners, heard from industry experts on the state of the industry, and checked out the latest products on the market from the more than 1,200 exhibitors at the conference. Working with Maryland-based Elan International, the delegates' attendance at the conference was facilitated by the U.S. Embassy in Botswana and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Southern Africa Trade Hub.

For the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, getting the delegates to the conference was a win-win: southern African firms are increasingly seeking to grow their industry in their home countries, and at the same time, the solar industry in the U.S. — and America's economic recovery — is being driven in large part by exports.  Africa is an open market for U.S. goods and services, and American firms are keenly interested in finding the right contacts with potential African partners.

The African delegates went to SPI ready to find U.S. partners and make new deals.  Tamuka Kaseke, of South Africa's AM-AMD Independent Power, for example, has recently been licensed by the South African government to develop a 30-MW solar project with other projects in the pipeline, and he's now looking for an opportunity to buy solar components for his solar parks.  Clearly impressed with American design, technology, and yes — prices — Kaseke has talked with dozens of exhibitors and learned about financing options from The U.S. Export-Import Bank, among others.  "I love what I'm seeing here," he said.

The three delegates from Botswana were equally impressed.  Felix Chavaphi, who owns the Botswana firm, Energy Systems, observed, "At this conference I'm seeing the state of the art."  But he qualified the remark:  "I have been surprised at how few Africans are here.  Africa represents a new, potentially important market for solar products.  Many African governments and private sector partners are ready to buy, and policies such as feed-in tariffs are being developed.  Yet it doesn't seem the solar industry here has many African partners yet.  I feel privileged because I'm getting a lot of attention here."

The group was the first U.S. Government-sponsored delegation to attend SPI from the Southern African region, which represents a market of more than 277 million people.

Lead image: Africa map via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Hybrid solar minigrid to power Tanzanian island village

Tildy Bayar

A hybrid solar photovoltaic-battery energy storage-diesel minigrid project aims to provide power for around 400 households in the remote island village of Lake Victoria (pictured) in Tanzania. 

World Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy – First Electricity, Then Heating/Cooling, and Finally Transportation

Junko Movellan, Correspondent The exclusive use of energy from renewable resources in at least one sector has now become a feasible goal for 8 countries. Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, discussed this remarkable develop...

Solar power growth impacting UK electricity sector

Diarmaid Williams

Q2 of 2015 saw a large increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV in the UK, with the growth having a significant impact on electricity market prices and other supply factors.

PACE Finance Opening Doors for C&I Solar In California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent With its excellent renewable policy, California leads the nation in solar. Over the years both the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the California Solar Initiative drove utility scale and residential solar deployment. But w...
Mr. Karnell is a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State. He has served as U.S. Embassy-Botswana's Economic/Commercial Officer since September 2010.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

2015 Green Energy Expo

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the Green Energy Expo in Mexico City!

COMPANY BLOGS

Prevailing At A Premium

As efficiency sales professionals, we’re often faced with situatio...

Do Your Goals Match Your Values?

Before you set goals for your company or your personal work performance ...

LSX rises with sustainable wine making in Mexico

his custom LSX solar canopy shades the upper deck organic gard...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS