Solarize Africa – Energy Transition in Africa

The smarter E Podcast Episode 136 | June 8, 2023 | Language: English

Controversies are normal when it comes to the reality of the African continent – also in terms of energy supply and security. The continent has a vast solar potential, with several Saharan countries belonging to those with the highest solar radiation worldwide. At the same time, electrification in Africa is still one of the core issues to be addressed within the millennium development goals in Africa, especially in the rural areas. The huge solar potential faces political, infrastructural, regulatory and economical challenges that hinder a unrestrained deployment of solar on the continent. Even more reason to look carefully on the African solar market developments. So what is necessary for an unrestrained deployment of solar on the continent?

We’ll have a look on the African solar market developments. With Dr. Rethabile Melamu, CEO at SAPVIA & Herbert Friese, General Manager of Dutch & Co.


  • 2:54 Isn't it controversial to talk about the production of green hydrogen in Africa for the EU market, when 64 percent of the rural population in Africa still has no access to electricity?
  • 5:31 How have the increased module prices of the last two and a half years affected the African market?
  • 10:33 What role do public-private partnerships (PPPs) play in reforming energy systems in Africa?
  • 16.08 We understand that public funding is still necessary to widespread the deployment of solar in African countries. At the same time this funding has led to distortion of market prices in the past. How is an ideal balance to be achieved here?
  • 33:28 How can solar PV contribute to the solution of pressing developmental issues of the continent like water access or crop farming?

About The smarter E Podcast

The smarter E podcast is all about the current trends and developments in a renewable, decentralized and digital energy industry. Our moderators Tobias Bücklein and Zackes Brustik welcome and interview personalities who shape our industry and drive developments forward. A new episode is published every Thursday.

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About Dr. Rethabile Melamu & SAPVIA

Dr. Rethabile Melamu, Chief Executive Officer at SAPVIA

Dr. Rethabile Melamu is Chief Executive Officer at SAPVIA, the South African Solar PV Association. She is a Scientist and completed research about diverse renewable energy topics like hydrogen or bioenergy from waste, and acted as executive member of different networks and organizations in Green Tech.

Officially launched in 2010, SAPVIA has been at the forefront of developing South Africa’s flourishing renewable energy sector.

About Herbert Friese & Dutch & Co.

Herbert Friese, General Manager of Dutch & Co. and Chair of the Workgroup for Solar Companies of the AGI.

Herbert Friese has been General Manager of Dutch & Co. for over 10 years and is a key driver of the energy transition in Ghana. He is also Chair of the Workgroup for Solar Companies of the AGI (Association of Ghana Industries).

Dutch & Co is a company registered and based in Accra, Ghana specialized in energy efficiency and with a strong focus on the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector.

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