The second Solar and Off-Grid Renewables West Africa event in Ghana in April heard mixed views on the progress of solar in the region. But with the first projects reaching completion and others moving forward, brighter times seem to be around the corner. Tom Kenning reports.

Despite the commissioning of the largest solar PV plant in West Africa this year, the total installed capacity in the region stands at a scanty total of 33MW. The sector has continued to be held back by lengthy delays in the early stages of project development, high costs of capital and the poor financial health of major utilities. However, a host of ongoing government tenders may have paved the way for genuine movement in the coming two years. Meanwhile, the region’s long-standing power deficits continue to uphold a strong case for solar deployment. PV Tech attended this year’s Solar and Off-grid Renewables West Africa conference in Accra, Ghana, for an insight into the region’s utility-scale solar ambitions.

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