Nigeria is one of the most economically sound countries on the continent. Trailblazing in many ways including finance, infrastructure and employment, the country has up until very recently been a laggard when it comes to renewable energy. However, a newly-installed government is ensuring priorities are changing and frameworks are being put in place to exploit Nigeria’s clean energy prowess and close the gap between supply and demand. Segun Adaju, president of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, discussed with PV Tech how the country is getting to grips with clean energy.
Monica Maduekwe, coordinator of Gender Mainstreaming at the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) caught up with PV Tech to discuss ways in which the organisation is addressing existing barriers to equal participation, including utilising a US$1 million fund from the African Development Bank.
San Francisco-based SunFunder is a solar finance business with a mission to unlock capital for solar energy in emerging markets. It primarily aggregates investment capital through its beyond-the-grid and Solar Empowerment funds, thereby giving accredited investors the opportunity to invest in their on-grid and off-grid solar portfolio. Andrea Griffin, SunFunder’s vice president of global business development, stopped by PV Tech to discuss investment, currency risk and energy storage in West Africa.
All eyes are on India after the historic solar bids seen in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month, but headline prices won’t solve the more entrenched problems of the sector. PV Tech caught up with Ashish Khanna, executive director and CEO, Tata Power Solar, at the firm’s Noida offices near New Delhi to garner a rational viewpoint from one of the world's pioneering solar manufacturers and India's top solar rooftop EPC player.
Plenty of naysayers have warned about unrealistic bidding and various delays damaging the Indian solar sector, but the head of ACME Solar, one of the largest developers India, approaching 1GW of installed capacity, has a very positive outlook on the industry's future. PV Tech caught up Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, the founder, chairman and managing director of ACME Group at the company offices in Gurgaon, New Delhi, to discuss delayed PPAs, transmission infrastructure, the approaching Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and a unique point of view on India's Ultra Mega solar power parks.
Solar PV manufacturers have been flooding into Malaysia, but its domestic solar deployment remains relatively modest. PV Tech caught up with Catherine Ridu, chief executive officer of the Malaysia Sustainable Development Authority (SEDA), to discuss the newly-launched net metering programme and what other policies could encourage solar deployment, as well as how to leverage the manufacturing boom for domestic solar gains.
Solar PV has a strong role to play in the Philippines where energy demand continues to grow and the power mix remains expensive. While significant utility-scale solar deployments peaked ahead of a deadline to qualify for the Feed-in-Tariff in March this year, a new subsidy quota is on the horizon. PV Tech caught up with Pete Maniego, senior policy adviser of the Institute for Climate & Sustainable Cities and of Counsel of Dime & Eviota Law, to gather his insights on solar subsidies and how PV can compete with fossil fuels in the Southeast Asian country.
Community solar is emerging as an auspicious new source of demand in the US, opening up access to solar among previously excluded groups. Ethical Electric, a Washington-based renewable energy company providing 100% clean electricity to retail customers, recently launched a community solar division under the new name of CleanChoice Energy to get on board with the disruption. Managing director Laura Pagliarulo and chief impact officer Richard Graves discussed with PV Tech the company’s plans, its recent SunShot Initiative award, and how community solar is set to become ‘retail 2.0’.
It’s the globe’s second largest continent, home to the some of the world’s fastest growing economies, and it has supplied precious resources to nations for hundreds of years - so why do today’s solar PV businesses find it so difficult to succeed in Africa? PV Tech spoke with Jon Sarpong, president of PV developer and consultancy Avior Global, about the challenges and opportunities for PV companies eyeing up the African market.