Bringing power to the world’s sunniest continent: REC to enter markets in Africa

REC, the largest European brand of solar panels, is entering
numerous markets in Africa, beginning with ECOWAS, East and South African regions. With solar power
uptake on the African continent predicted to surge over the coming years – 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar
installations are forecasted by 2030 – REC is confident that with its combination of high performing solar
panels, the established REC Partner Program, plus training expertise for local solar professionals, the
company is in an excellent starting position as the solar industry in Africa gathers pace.

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 largescale,
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.

Source: REC Solar ASA/