Is the market still growing for photovoltaic solar systems? For many companies and experts,encouraged by high tariffs and government subsidies, Germany has seemed to be an especially rewarding market for years. However, with the elimination of subsidies in Germany, new dynamic markets have been added. In these markets, such as Ghana, solar energy is a financially attractive alternative even without subsidisation. As a result, it is hardly surprising that the Energy Authority in Ghana is in the process of strengthening the local solar market through binding rules and a clear legal framework. Through this, the government wants to ensure that nearly 10% of the electricity is produced from renewable sources – a quite ambitious goal for a developing country.
To achieve this, the Department of Energy is pushing for the support of the local banks, which should provide loans for investment in solar systems instead of car loans. This is currently not happening, resulting in the failure of many companies in finding financing to install solar systems – a problem that ecoligo is solving through crowdinvesting.
The solar market in Ghana is at an exciting point, with huge investments such as the Chinese company Beijing Xiaocheng Company (BXC)’s 30 million dollar investment into a 20 MW solar plant. This system feeds directly into the national grid of Ghana, and will refinance itself through a negotiated price per kWh. This model could also be preferable for other international companies – it’s especially interesting because it needs no government subsidies, meaning that there is no danger of legislative tariffs being abolished.
At the same time, the Department of Energy is also pursuing the newly introduced net metering system: excess energy generated for example by a solar system and then fed into the grid can be offset at the end of the month in your electricity bill, for which individuals and businesses get approval from the state. By making major savings very easy to reach, this balance system creates a great incentive for midsize companies to install a solar system on their roof or premises.
With 20MW in 2016 and many more MW due to be constructed in the coming years, it is clear that these positive conditions are a perfect backdrop for a rise in the share of solar energy, both in Ghana and around the world.