The 4th edition of the AFSIA Solar Awards 2023 was held in co-location with the Renewable Energy Forum Africa, making it a remarkable event filled with enthusiasm. The event took place in the evening of October 5th in Nairobi, where the winners in all 13 categories were unveiled and celebrated during the ceremony.
Over the last few months, more than 150 entries from all over the continent were submitted in various categories. The Jury, which included some of Africa’s top solar energy experts, thoroughly reviewed and analyzed each entry in order to select the most deserving companies and individuals to receive the ultimate prize at the awards ceremony.
This year, we had most categories contested in the 13 categories with a lot of competition. In particular, the “C&I Project of the Year” category had many entries. Also, the categories like “Productive Use Application of the Year” and “Solar Innovation of the Year” were highly competitive with many entries. This shows that these specific areas of the African solar industry are growing and gaining a lot of interest.
“Deal/Financing of the Year” was another very contested category, highlighting the accelerating interest from the international financing community for solar in Africa. This growing number of financing agreements confirms the high potential for solar in Africa and announces a bright future for the sector in the months and years to come.
|Utility Scale Project of the year||Dar Al-Handasah
|Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair and Partners) for their work on the 188MWp Biopio and the 96 MWp Baia Farta projects both located in Angola. Those 2 plants are part of the largest integrated RE intervention programmes in sub-Saharan Africa
Gigawatt Global for the first utility scale project in Burundi officially inaugurated in May 2023.
|Commercial & Industrial Solar Project of the year||Spenomatic Solar Ltd||Spenomatic Solar Ltd for their 6MW solar roof-mounted installation. This installation is located at Abyssinia Steel plant and is one of the largest roof-mounted installation in Kenya.
|Mini Grid Project of the year||PowerGen Renewable Energy||PowerGen Renewable Energy Mini-grid solar PV project in Toto, Nigeria. This pioneering project model will serve as a positive case study for the future partnerships between Distributed Energy Ressources company and utility companies.|
|Solar Home System Company of the year||Solar Sister||Solar Sister with over 4.3 million people reached with clean energy products, empowering more than 10,000 local women entrepreneurs, and generating over $300 Million of economic benefit in off-grid communities|
|Productive Use Application of the year||Mobility for Africa||Mobility for Africa for helping rural communities to reach their market and improve productivity
|Solar innovation of the year||Ecobora||ECOBORA for their PAY-AS-YOU-GO solar cooking boiler brought to rural schools|
|Video of the year||MOON||See video link here|
|Deal/Financing program of the year||Nuru||Nuru for for securing of a substantial boost of over $40M in Series B equity funding for the development of a trio of projects totaling 13.7 MWp in DRC|
|Solar entrepreneur/SME of the year||USAFI Green Energy||USAFI GREEN ENERGY for their amazing work in partnership with NAMENE SOLAR and Solstars. They offered the opportunity to the kids at school to have access to electricity in offering them solar computer system and solar portable torches.|
|African solar company of the year||SolarAfrica||SolarAfrica Energy for this amazing work done with more than 155 projects delivered for over 77 MW|
|Advisor / Consultant of the year (Financial/Legal/Technical)||Chloride Exide
|Chloride Exide for providing technical advisory of the first Agrivoltaics projects in Kenya and Tanzania.
GreenMax supporting the Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion Fund (CEI Africa) to deploy an RBF scheme for mini-grids, SHS and PUE companies across Africa.
|Picture of the year||ARESS||See picture here|
|Life-time achievement award||Mark Hankins||Mark Hankins, currently Renewable Energy Project Advisor at GET.invest Finance Catalyst. Mark is a Nairobi-based consultant who specializes in rural electrification and renewable energy. He has worked in East and Southern Africa for over 20 years.|
Celebrating solar at a global renewable energy platform
The awards ceremony was organized on the sidelines of REFA, the Renewable Energy Forum Africa and Powerelec Kenya. Renewable Energy Forum Africa (REFA) is the annual investment forum organized by AFSIA and SolarPower Europe to promote investment in renewables on the African continent. The event is supported by GET.invest, a European programme which aims to mobilise investment in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.
AFSIA and SolarPower Europe were also supported by fellow leading industry organizations and associations such as ESAK, AMDA, AMER, GWEC and the Green Hydrogen Organization to cite a few, which all contributed with their respective industry expertise and network to generate one of the most complete line-up of industry experts to address all key aspects of the African renewable energy industry.
Next to the exhibition, a power and renewables exhibition was also organized and attracted thousands of local and regional trade visitors eager to discover the latest innovations of the sector and develop partnerships with the international manufacturers exhibiting and looking to further develop their Eastern African footprint.
Huawei, the leading technology provider of inverters, storage and digital solutions for the solar industry, was the main partner of the event. “Top quality and excellence of service are key elements for us at Huawei. This is why it is very natural for Huawei to partner with the AFSIA Solar Awards to recognize the top-achievers of the industry over the past year. Huawei looks forward to continuing supporting the growth of solar across Africa and build long-lasting partnerships with key stakeholders of the industry” said Nick Lusson, Vice President Eastern Africa at Huawei Digital Power.
Meet the Jury
Applications for the AFSIA Solar Awards were reviewed by some of the top experts in the African solar industry. They independently assessed each application and nominated the outstanding ones in each category.
This year the jury is made of Sumaya Mahomed, Board Member at the Institute of Energy Professionals Africa NP, Grace Perkins, Operations Director at AMDA, Sahele Tamiru Fekede, Energy Access and Transitions Programme Manager at the African Climate Foundation, Adel BABA-AÏSSA, Investment Director at Meridiam, Soustain Chigalu, President of REIAMA, Tanya Van der Westhuizen, Head of Renewable Energy at GIB Insurance Brokers, Russell Lyseight, Head of the Global Distributors Collective, The GDC – Global Distributors Collective, Delphine Chene, Présidente, éditrice d’Afrik21, Claudio Pedretti, Founder and CEO of the Green Climate Ventures.