China, US join to make Africa solar

Updated: 2016-01-06 01:09

By Hua shengdun(China Daily USA)

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China, US join to make Africa solar

Asoka Ranaweera with a client from Ghana during a visit to Beijing to discuss projects. provided to CHINA DAILY

As the solar energy industry emerges as one of the most promising markets in Africa, China and the US are teaming up to establish a sustainable energy system on the continent, according to an industry expert.

Low-cost solar-power generation and distribution systems built by Chinese companies together with high-quality management services by American companies can bring the best of both worlds to Africa’s solar industry, the expert said.

“China has incredible ways to produce solar panels efficiently and commission projects very quickly,” said Asoka Ranaweera, managing partner at Grid2Grid, a US consulting firm that specializes in trade and investment in Africa.

“And American companies are better at management practices, social responsibilities and networking with local markets,” he added.

The solar industry has been developing in the US for a long time, especially in retail and integration into the power sector, according to Fredrick Weston, director of the Regulatory Assistance Project’s China program

Solar is the last frontier in terms of energy around the world. There are no better places to develop the solar industry than in Africa, because of the abundance of clear sunshine year round on most of the continent, Ranaweera said.

The International Energy Agency estimates 585 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, with the electrification rate as low as 14.2 percent in some rural areas.

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