Off-grid solar generation could affect how Africa uses coal, natural gas for electricity

In the International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects electricity generation in Africa using two cases with different assumptions about how future electricity needs are fulfilled. In the Maximum Grid Expansion case, in which a centralized grid is developed to meet electricity demand throughout the continent, EIA projects that solar photovoltaic generators will meet 13% of Africa’s electricity generation in 2050. In this case, EIA’s projections do not include off-grid, stand-alone generators. In contrast, in the Maximum Off-Grid case, where demand growth in the southern half of the continent (Africa-South) is met by off-grid resources, solar energy—from both grid-connected and off-grid systems—will provide 21% of continent-wide electricity generation in 2050.
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