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Chinese photovoltaic products light up the African market


600 million people in Africa live without electricity, about 48% of the total African population. Under the combined effect of the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the international energy crisis, Africa's energy supply capacity is also further weakened. At the same time, Africa is the continent with the second largest population and the fastest growing in the world. By 2050, it will have more than a quarter of the world's population. It is foreseeable that Africa will face increasing pressure on energy development and utilization.

According to the latest report "Africa Energy Outlook 2022" released by the International Energy Agency in June this year, the number of people without electricity in Africa has increased by 25 million since 2021, and the number of people without electricity in Africa has increased by about 4% compared with 2019. In view of the high international energy prices and the increased economic burden on African countries, the International Energy Agency, when analyzing the situation in 2022, believes that the African electricity consumption index may decline further.

But at the same time, Africa has 60% of the world's solar energy resources, as well as other abundant renewable energy sources such as wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydropower, making Africa the last hot spot in the world where renewable energy has not yet been developed on a large scale. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Africa could meet nearly a quarter of its energy needs by 2030 through the use of homegrown, clean renewable energy. Helping Africa to develop these green energy sources and benefiting African people is one of the missions of Chinese companies entering Africa, and Chinese companies have proved their mission with practical actions.

On September 13, the groundbreaking ceremony of the second phase of China's aided solar traffic light project in Nigeria's capital Abuja was held in Abuja. According to reports, the China-aided Abuja solar traffic signal project is divided into two phases. The first phase of the project has built 74 solar traffic lights at intersections, which have been running well after handover in September 2015. In 2021, China and Nepal will sign a cooperation agreement for the second phase of the project, to build solar-powered traffic lights at the remaining 98 intersections in the capital area, so that all intersections in the capital area will be unattended. Now China has fulfilled its promise to Nigeria, and the light brought by solar energy will further illuminate the streets of the capital, Abuja.

In June this year, the first photovoltaic power station in the Central African Republic, Sakai Photovoltaic Power Station, was connected to the grid for power generation. The power station was contracted by China Energy Construction Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. with an installed capacity of 15 megawatts. The demand for electricity has greatly promoted the local social and economic development. The photovoltaic power station project has a short construction period, is green and environmentally friendly, and has a large installed capacity, which can immediately solve the local electricity shortage problem. During the construction process, the project also provided employment opportunities for about 700 people and helped local workers acquire various skills.

Although Africa has 60% of the world's solar energy resources, it only has 1% of the world's photovoltaic power generation installations, indicating that the development of renewable energy in Africa, especially solar energy, has a very broad prospect. According to the "2022 Global Status of Renewable Energy Report" released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), despite the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, sales of off-grid solar products in Africa will still reach 7.4 million units in 2021, making it the world's largest market. Among them, Eastern Africa has the highest sales volume of 4 million units; Kenya is the largest country in the region with sales of 1.7 million units; Ethiopia ranks second with 439,000 units. Sales in Central and Southern Africa increased significantly, with Zambia up 77% year-on-year, Rwanda up 30% and Tanzania up 9%. West Africa sold 1 million units, a relatively small scale. In the first half of this year, Africa imported a total of 1.6GW of Chinese PV modules, a year-on-year increase of 41%.

It can be seen that there is a huge market for photovoltaic related products in Africa. For example, at the 2022 African Solar Energy Exhibition, the digital power supply of Chinese company Huawei launched a full range of FusionSolar smart photovoltaic and energy storage system solutions to the sub-Saharan African market. The solution includes FusionSolar Smart PV Solution 6.0+, which enables PV systems to adapt to various grid scenarios, especially in weak grid environments. At the same time, residential smart photovoltaic solutions and industrial and commercial smart photovoltaic solutions provide households and enterprises with a comprehensive clean energy experience, including optimized electricity bills, active safety, intelligent operation and maintenance, and intelligent assistance to enhance the experience. These solutions are very helpful in driving the widespread adoption of renewable energy throughout Africa.

There are also various photovoltaic civilian products invented by the Chinese, which are also welcomed by the African people. In Kenya, a solar bicycle that can be used for transportation and selling goods on the street is favored by locals; solar backpacks and solar power umbrellas are popular in the South African market. These products can be used not only for themselves, but also for charging and lighting. Very suitable for the local African environment and market.

In order to make better use of renewable energy including solar energy and promote economic stability in Africa, China has so far implemented hundreds of clean energy and green development projects within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, supporting African countries to better utilize solar energy, The advantages of clean energy such as hydropower, wind energy, and biogas help Africa to move forward steadily on the road of independent and sustainable development.

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