The African market
Africa is experiencing an unprecedented period of demographic growth: its population will double by 2050, to reach 2 billion. Its economy should grow by more than 4% per year and its GDP should triple by 2030 if the current trend continues.
However, the continent lacks electrical infrastructure, and only 57% of the population had access to electricity in 2010. Sustainable economic growth involves the development of a reliable and efficient energy sector.
Thanks to its exceptional solar potential, Africa can meet its rising energy requirements quickly, massively and competitively, all the while developing its electricity networks as well as its off-grid electrification or mini-grid solutions for isolated areas. This is the leapfrogging phenomenon that the continent has already experienced with mobile telephones.
21 MW under development
Over 450 MW of projects in the pipeline
Foundation of Solairedirect Southern Africa in 2009
South Africa is one of the world’s sunniest countries. It is also one of the emerging countries with the highest energy consumption, in particular with high industrial and mining demand.
The country’s photovoltaic energy development policy is based mainly on the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP). The target of this public procurement program set up by the South African government is to reach a total of 8,400 MW of photovoltaic energy by 2030.
Thanks to a favorable regulatory environment and the setting up of a feed-in tariff system by the South African government, Solairedirect has been able to apply its competitive solar energy production model in South Africa. In November 2009, it created Solairedirect Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, headquartered in Cape Town. Today the company has a total of 21 MW in operation in the country and over 456 MW of projects in the pipeline.
In Senegal, where half the population does not have access to electricity, the government has made it a priority to produce 20 to 30% of renewable energy in the next few years and thus get closer to a green energy mix.
Solairedirect is active in Senegal with two projects currently under construction. Firstly, Solairedirect operates the construction and the maintenance of Senergy-Meridiam, located in the city of Santhiou Mekhé, 70km from Dakar. With a capacity of 30 MW, it constitutes the largest PV plant in western Africa.
Another project of 20 MW is in development in the commune of Merina Dakhar, 120 km in the north-east of Dakar.