Phanes Group, an international end-to-end solar power services provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE, is once again looking for promising solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to support in Sub-Saharan Africa. The move comes as the company re-launches its Solar Incubator program.
Now in its third consecutive year, the competition continues towards its goal of electrifying more communities for a sustainable future.
The initiative rewards solar PV developers with commercial and technical expertise to help bring their project to fruition; Applications are open now, with the winners announced at an event titled the Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa 2019 Conference in Dakar, Senegal, to be held in Dakar, Senegal from October 16th to 17th.
“With over 600 million people lacking access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, the need for sustainable, affordable and commercially viable energy sources – such as solar PV – is undeniable. In the sub-Saharan region, a lack of energy access also remains a key barrier to economic and social progress,” Phanes Group said in a recent statement.
Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator was initiated in 2017 to tackle the issue head-on, fostering local innovation and investment by providing local solar PV developers with the funding and commercial and technical knowledge they otherwise couldn’t access. In 2018, that access to expertise was awarded to Senegalese Engineer and innovator Mbaye Hadj, who bested other applicants from over 20 countries.
“I had been working on my solar farm idea since July 2018, but these projects require a lot of intricate know-how, financial expertise, and funding – some of which I lacked,” noted Hadj.
“The guidance of Phanes Group and its partners will allow us to finally bring our project to life, so we can feed power to Senegal’s national electricity company. By achieving this we’ll help the local economy to grow, which so far has been held back by a lack of electricity,” he added.
Hadj’s triumph came at the 2018 Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa conference, where he presented his proposal for a 30-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Gossas, Senegal. Evaluation panel members were inspired by his desire to electrify schools, healthcare centers, and other critical services that are today in decline due to a lack of dependable power.
With the 2019 Solar Incubator open for entries, Phanes Group and its partners hope to see similar dynamism and community-focused concepts from this year’s applicants.
“Through our work across sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve met many individuals and organizations who possess great solar PV project ideas for their community but lack access to the necessary support and expertise to realize them,” commented Phanes Group CEO, Martin Haupt.
To support the vision and ambition of more innovators like Mbaye Hadj, Phanes Group is encouraging eligible solar PV developers to apply for the third annual Solar Incubator program, held under the theme, ‘Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future’.