What’s in store for solar in 2021?
As 2020 draws to a close, large scale solar is expected to hit annual capacity records. Meanwhile the UK’s clean energy industry looks set to get a boost in 2021 from the government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution. And with COP26 just over the horizon we’re looking at what’s in store for solar in the year ahead.
Almost every industry was rocked by the unprecedented events of 2020. For the solar industry the covid crisis highlighted the importance of energy access as a major global issue. In many countries, the solar industry was awarded ‘essential service’ so companies continued to operate throughout lockdowns.
In brighter news, new sector milestones were reached and records were broken with more new solar capacity installed in 2020 with record-breaking annual capacity in many countries including the US. Solar energy hit the headlines in 2020, taking the title of ‘cheapest form of new electricity generation’ per watt – in history.
For Namene Solar, we also celebrated wins in 2020. We saw the growth of our team of industry bright sparks and hired new team members in Kenya and Ghana, as well as in the UK and Germany – all united by our goal of delivering truly affordable solar power without limit.
We unveiled new projects, with certification of our first of its kind carbon offset project in Zambia. The project delivers truly affordable solar lights to rural and off-grid families for the first time.
In Ghana and Kenya we connected new businesses, schools and universities in to solar and our lights have been distributed as emergency aid in areas from the Philippines to Gaza and Yemen, giving some of the most vulnerable access to clean, safe solar light.
In Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa growing nation, we helped make cocoa farmers more sustainable by mounting rooftop solar for small growers and working with the Lindt and Sprungli Sustainable Farming Programme to equip their farmers with branded, chocolate coloured lights.
So, what’s in store for solar in 2021?
Solar looks set to shine in 2021. After setting the record in 2020 for the cheapest form of new electricity generation in history, the industry is one of the few that has continued to attract large investment that bolsters the sector for the post-pandemic world. The world is waking up to the reality that solar investments don’t mean compromise on returns, with environmental and social funds set outperform traditional investments.
In the US Green New Deal promises to end the turbulent policy that surrounded clean tech during the Trump presidency in the states, with a decisive move towards green energy.
Meanwhile, in UK, Boris Johnson’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution is welcome news, just at the UK energy supply chain is headed for the greenest year on record.
In 2020 a raft of high-profile companies and tech giants committed to net zero goals, along with the world’s biggest coal-burning nation, China. This restored hopes of global collaboration towards a decarbonised economy, and with solar prices are expected to fall across the supply chain in the post-pandemic era, prospects for global demand look bright.
A year of climate action
Globally, climate action will take centre stage as the delayed COP26 is set to go ahead in Glasgow. World leaders will rally to reflect on the progress made since the 2015 Paris Accord and take measures to accelerate the transition to a decarbonised global economy.
In line with these ambitions, we’re already rolling out our scalable climate financed solar projects across Africa – the first of which, in Zambia, was awarded Gold Standard Certification in 2020. We’re gearing up to deploy these projects across a number of countries that will see up to 70 million solar lights distributed, each saving carbon emissions and contributing to a number of sustainable development goals.
We’re continuing to work with our partners to deliver truly affordable solar at every scale. From distributing lights in schools and communities, to financing and developing commercial and industrial projects, and expanding into new geographies with our scalable solar projects.
After a year of lockdowns and life spent mostly indoors, we’re set to launch new products to reimagine the way solar helps us explore, get outside and off-grid. 2021 will see the first of Namene Solar’s modular product suite go into production with a campaign that aims to bring a little light into people’s lives.
We look forward to the challenges and celebrations that 2021 will no doubt bring. Join us on our journey to deliver truly affordable solar light and power without limit in 2021.