Focus shifts to solar power in developing countries

solar in south africa

A solar powered village in Zululand, South Africa.

Industrialised countries have seen an explosion in renewable energy in recent years but are developing countries proceeding at the same rate? An announcement this week by Norfund — the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries — has highlighted the role that renewables play in the developing world. Indeed renewables like solar power in developing countries looks to be The Next Big Thing in clean energy investment.

Norfund is to partner with Norwegian solar investment company Scatec Solar to provide an expansion of solar power investment into all areas in which the Norwegian government currently operates. Existing solar investment partnerships are already in place with the two combining in 190 MW of clean energy projects in solar projects in South Africa and Rwanda.

The latest expansion of existing agreements with Norfund was framed by Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen as building on this initial success.

“We enter the partnership with Norfund with great expectations,” said Mr Carlsen. “Our common objective is to contribute to the increased implementation of renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the project-to-project cooperation we have had so far has proved very successful.”

The number of developing countries which have now put in place solid policies to support renewable energy has increased by a factor of six in just eight years, according to a UN-commissioned report into renewable investments in developing countries.

“Markets, manufacturing, and investment expanded further across the developing world, clearly illustrating that renewables are no longer dependent upon a small handful of countries,” states the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.

They haven’t exactly been sitting on their hands over at The World Bank either with US$4.62bn of a total of US$9.45bn has been issued to developing nations for improvements in renewable energy. Thirty percent of this is earmarked for solar, wind and geothermal generators, according to Renewable Energy World.

Norfund is but one of many government and agencies that is backing renewable energy in the developing world, delivering renewable energy outcomes to people of developing nations. Norfund has demonstrated the worth of government agencies playing a key role in adding a level of certainty to solar investments.

As the Scatec CEO explains: “When Norfund invests in our projects, their backing from the Norwegian government, combined with the company’s excellent standing in the market, will attract other investors as well.”

The massive investment in renewables such as solar power in developing countries has not only given a vote of confidence in the green energy sector. It has also given people in less developed nations access to clean, green, sustainable energy, a path to enable their countries to follow a more sustainable route to future energy development.


  1. Yes Minister says

    I can only guess that the so-called ‘developing countries mentioned have yet to acquire the variety of parasitic politicians endemic to Australia & who never tire of finding ways to enrich their grubby bottom-feeding cohorts at the expense of the sheeple said politicians ostensibly represent.

    • Since said parasites (eg megalomanic tape-worms) are an embedded part of the evolutionary cycles I rather doubt that ‘developing countries’ don’t acquire them
      But, unlike us more civilised types, they know how to deal with them. eg. I understand they make good fuel for cookstoves due to the fat content.

      • Yes Minister says

        Hmmm, now thats a thought. I wonder if smokin’ joe would actually be combustible, he’s certainly got a good fat content & where there is smoke there is also supposed to be fire.

  2. As always, thanks for your contribution Yes Minister. Not quite sure if we have the monopoly on “sit-on-your-hands” pollies, though an interesting thought!

    • Yes Minister says

      If it was merely a matter of our politicians ‘sitting on their hands’, things wouldn’t be as serious as they are. Unfortunately the majority of the vultures with which we are inflicted (regardless of colour) do their utmost to prop up their friends at the expense of those for whom they supposedly work. Not that it affects me personally as I’m largely immmune to the predations practiced on the hoi polloi, however that doesn’t lessen my utter disgust for all things political. I do believe there is good reason to suspect we have the worst of the breed, just look at the widespread support elsewhere elsewhere on planet earth for renewable energy strategies generally compared with the neanderthal attitudes of our knuckle-draggers..

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