• Photovoltaic (PV) development in Africa in the focus of discussion
• Major stakeholders for the African PV solar sector participated
• Conference program covered the entire PV value chain
Munich/Durban 28 March 2014 – The first Africa Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (AfricaPVSEC) started on 27 March 2014 in Durban, South Africa and highlighted a rapidly growing African scientific community in the area of solar photovoltaic power generation. Africa is a part of the so called “sunbelt” countries. The same Photovoltaic panel in average can produce twice as much electricity in Africa than in Central Europe.
During the conference opening keynotes speakers featured Renewable Energies and PV Focus on Africa, Competence and Overview of Research Landscapes in Africa. International leaders from the politics, science and business shared their views on the latest scientific results and proposals for technical advancement in the solar PV sector. During the AfricaPVSEC conference many speakers discussed also the rapidly increasing electricity demand and vast solar resources. Between 2008 and now there has been a massive drop in the price on PV modules. Energy produced by PV reached already grid parity in many areas in Africa.
Rafikh Ismail, Senior Account Manager, IDC-Industrial Development Corporation, Green Strategic Business Unit, gave an overview about the IDC support for renewable and PV development projects. Mr. Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director-General, Department of Science and Technology Comments of South Africa, discussed the way to realize PV projects in South Africa and the necessity of promoting the implementation of solar parks as well as PV rooftop installations.
Dr. Arnulf Jäger-Waldau, European Commission, DG JRC, and AfricaPVSEC Technical Program Chairman: “Some years ago we talked about MW – now multi GW installations by 2020 are in preparation”. Dr. Jäger-Waldau continued: “ After a period of using PV for rule electrification the PV market is developing towards large-scale solar parks as well as PV rooftop driven by commercial installations with on-site consumption”.
Prof. Vivian Alberts, University of Johannesburg, Head of the Conference Steering Committee: “The first Africa Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition was a good place to discuss the progress of PV in Africa. PTiP, a spinoff of the University of Johannesburg presented the first CIGS thin-film modules produced locally in South Africa”.
Dr. Giovanni Federigo De Santi, European Commission, DG JRC, Director of Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) pointed out in his presentation that the AfricaPVSEC Conference will help to accelerate ongoing collaboration between the EU and Africa to develop the African Renewable Energy Technology Platform.
Artsolar, a major local module producer from Durban, South Africa, supported the session with the topic “Detailed insights into the local private South African PV Market”.
The hosting of this prestigious event in South Africa underscored the recognition given by the international community for the technical innovations in the PV sector and the rapid commercial advancements of the solar PV sector in South Africa, especially over the past two to three years.