Bringing power to the world’s sunniest continent: REC to enter markets in Africa
A continent of solar opportunity
As industry expands and populations grow, so does the need for energy, and the high irradiation levels across Africa put solar in pole position as a potential source. Moreover, with over 600 million people on the continent still lacking access to power grids, which are often woefully unstable and fraught by power cuts, local solar energy projects give communities clean, affordable power without the need for large-scale, public-funded investment in grid infrastructures. There are also moves in the region to reduce fossil fuel subsidies, which in the past had a distorting effect on competitiveness. The prospect of higher retail prices for fossil fuel-based energy will act as a further incentive to go solar.
Some countries have already set their sights on increasing renewable energy sources: Ghana, for instance, aims to meet 10% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Reflecting the demand for solar energy, REC forecasts 75-100 megawatts (MW) to be installed in the utility segment in 2016 in Ghana, 10 MW in commercial and 1-2 MW in residential.
Luc Graré, Senior Vice President EMEA at REC, describes the outlook and challenges ahead: “Africa’s greatest growth challenge is energy, and there’s a serious need to quickly get additional generation capacity in place to meet increasing energy demands. We expect around 100 GW of solar panels to be installed in the region by 2030, with residential markets and turnkey solutions offering particularly good opportunities. However, financing of investments is generally critical, so it’s vital to choose a supplier that is highly bankable. As the financially most stable solar panel manufacturer worldwide, our customers can rely on REC’s sustainable business. Our long-term success is based on highly reliable REC solar panels, even in the harshest climate conditions.”
REC’s go-to-market strategy
REC will begin by opening regional hubs this year and next in the ECOWAS, East and South African regions. To accommodate the markets’ demand for small-scale off-grid power generation systems, REC will be offering kit solutions for residential installations and solar hybrid boxes for 20-50kW installations.
The company also plans to introduce the programs and structures that have made its business so successful around the world – for instance, by establishing a network of REC distributors as part of its successful Partner Program. REC is also setting up the REC Academy, a new service to train distributors, who will in turn train local solar professionals and seed REC’s long-standing experience and expertise into the region.
REC will participate at South African Solar Show next year, one of the major events in the annual solar tradeshow calendar.
For further information please contact:
Public Relations Manager, REC
Leopoldstr. 175, 80804 Munich, Germany
Phone +49 89 54 04 67 225
Email agnieszka.schulze [at] recgroup.com
REC is the largest European brand of solar panels, with more than 15 million high-quality panels produced at the end of 2014. With integrated manufacturing from polysilicon to wafers, cells, panels and turnkey solar solutions, REC strives to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. In partnership with a sales channel of distributors, installers, and EPCs, REC panels are installed globally. Founded in 1996, REC is a Bluestar Elkem company with headquarters in Norway and operational headquarters in Singapore. REC’s 1,800 employees worldwide generated revenues of USD 680 million in 2014.
Find out more about REC at www.recgroup.com