World Future Energy Summit
Source: World Future Energy Summit |

Underperforming Africa Holds out Huge Solar Opportunities, Says African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) Outlook 2023

World Future Energy Summit Hears Of C&I, Green Hydrogen, Solar Powered Mobility and PUE Growth Potential

Africa is now home to more than 10 GW of identified solar projects and this is another symbolic milestone for the continent

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, January 18, 2023/APO Group/ --

The 2023 annual solar outlook report from the African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) points to huge continent-wide opportunities even though Africa is still underperforming in realising the full power of solar.

The report was released today (January 18) at the World Future Energy Summit - the leading international event accelerating sustainability and the global transition to clean energy - running at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in the UAE capital for which AFSIA is an official partner. The report says major opportunities lie in four key segments - commercial and industrial (C&I), green hydrogen product, solar powered mobility, and the productive use of energy to realise the Continent’s potential.

The C&I segment, which accounted for 28 per cent of newly installed capacity in 2022 representing a growth of around two-thirds on 2021 capacity, is currently led by South Africa. AFSIA says C&I growth will continue across the continent with more than 5 GW of projects under development, translating to almost half of Africa’s total installed capacity.

The report singles out green energy as a high potential sector with Africa’s stellar solar irradiation providing some of the best criteria for green hydrogen production which currently represents five times the Continent’s total installed solar capacity.

Solar powered mobility has also been identified as a key opportunity area with the “the exponential growth of electric mobility across the continent.” Electric motorbikes are now providing lower cost transport across the continent, according to the report, leading to a boom in taxi moto drivers switching to electric alternatives which, in turn, is fuelling increased solar demand.

The new solar segment of Productive Use of Energy (PUE), supported by solar home systems and mini-grids, is included in AFSIA’s “opportunities” prognosis but the report points to a growing clamour for more to be done to empower people with revenue-generating solutions.

A major positive report note is the growing spread of solar adoption across the continent, which AFSIA says is no longer limited to the hot spots of South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt. A total of 49 African countries are now said to be considering at least 1 MW of solar installations and 29 on more than 100 MW.

The AFSIA report, which includes a country-by-country breakdown of installed capacity and an analysis of the continent’s solar manufacturing potential, was released by the Association’s CEO John Van Zuylen during the Solar Expo and Clean Energy Forum – the Middle East and North Africa’s leading solar marketplace and one of the Summit’s six specialised vertical events.

“Africa is now home to more than 10 GW of identified solar projects and this is another symbolic milestone for the continent,” said van Zuylen.

The Solar Expo & Clean Forum also heard an update of Nigeria’s energy transition from the country’s Minister of Power, His Excellency Abubaker D. Aliyu.

“The Forum has unveiled some great news for the people of Africa who increasingly have access to clean and reliable power, and for the industry as a whole which is expanding its continental footprint,” commented Leen Alsebai, Head of World Future Energy Summit, and General Manager of Summit organiser RX Middle East. “This is also a very positive industry trend, which has the potential to deliver economies of scale through network effects and inspire local companies and technicians to further expand solar businesses, growing employment opportunities.”

The world’s solar industry champions and pioneers were at the Forum meeting with leading engineering companies, technology providers, financiers, energy buyers, utility providers and government policy makers to navigate a growth pathway for the global sector. The Forum featured a speaker and panellist line up of over 50 industry experts from across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, UK, Africa, and Asia. Together they explored the entire solar eco-system and the technologies and policies needed to leverage its potential to meet national targets, the solar sector’s role in the circular economy, how the industry could maximise asset profitability and performance and boost efficiency through automation.

The World Future Energy Summit is hosted by Masdar and is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development. The event is also, for the first time ever, held in partnership with ENOWA.

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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Future Energy Summit.

About World Future Energy Summit:
The annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi is the world’s leading business event and exhibition for future energy, clean-tech, and sustainability. Bringing together government and business leaders, it showcases pioneering technologies and ground-breaking initiatives in energy, energy efficiency, water, solar, waste, smart cities, climate and environment.

As a global hub for business, innovation, and knowledge exchange at the heart of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit inspires the advancement and transfer of ideas, technology, and investment across borders and between the public and private sectors worldwide. The exhibition and industry forums help stimulate sustainable growth for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit 

About Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week:
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development. The week brings together a unique fusion of policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers and the next generation of sustainability leaders. Through its initiatives and events, ADSW is a catalyst for sharing knowledge, implementing strategies, and delivering solutions to drive human progress. ADSW is committed to furthering our understanding of the major social, economic, and environmental trends shaping the world’s sustainable development. For more information, visit 

About Masdar:
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar is advancing the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy, sustainable urban development, and clean technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, our mandate is to help maintain the UAE’s leadership in the global energy sector, while supporting the diversification of both its economy and energy sources for the benefit of future generations. Masdar’s renewable energy projects are in the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Serbia, and Spain. For more information about Masdar, please visit: Stay connected: Facebook ( and Twiiter (

About RX (Reed Exhibitions):
 ( is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.  RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. 

About RELX:
RELX ( is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. RELX serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs more than 33,000 people over 40% of whom are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.

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