Sudan, with its abundant sunshine and vast untapped solar potential, is poised to make significant strides in solar energy development. In recent years, the country has been working to create a favorable policy and regulatory environment to attract investments and promote the growth of solar energy projects. As we approach 2024, it’s an opportune time to examine the existing policies and regulations in Sudan and anticipate what to expect in the coming year. The installed solar PV capacity in the country cross 200 MW by 2023.
Current Solar Energy Landscape
Sudan is blessed with abundant solar resources, making it an ideal location for solar power generation. The country’s vast desert expanses receive high levels of solar irradiation, providing a substantial untapped energy source.
Currently, solar energy development in Sudan is primarily driven by off-grid solutions, including solar home systems and small-scale solar installations for rural electrification. However, larger-scale utility projects are also gaining momentum, as international investors and organizations recognize Sudan’s solar potential.
Existing Policies and Regulations
Sudan’s government has been proactive in creating a regulatory framework to encourage solar energy development. Some key policies and regulations currently in place include:
National Energy Policy: Sudan’s National Energy Policy recognizes the importance of renewable energy, including solar, in meeting the country’s energy needs. It emphasizes the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification Law: This law, enacted in 2013, provides a legal framework for the development of renewable energy projects, including solar. It establishes the Rural Electrification Authority, which plays a significant role in promoting off-grid solar solutions.
Feed-in Tariffs: Sudan has introduced feed-in tariffs (FiTs) to encourage investment in renewable energy projects, including solar. FiTs offer fixed payments to solar project developers for the electricity they generate and feed into the grid.
Incentives for Solar Investments: The government offers tax incentives, import duty exemptions, and other financial incentives to attract investments in the renewable energy sector, making it an appealing option for international investors.
Independent Regulatory Authority: The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) oversees the regulation of the electricity sector, including renewable energy projects. Its role is to ensure fair and transparent procedures for project approvals and grid connections.
What to Expect in 2024
As we look ahead to 2024, several developments are expected in Sudan’s solar energy sector:
Scaling Up Utility-Scale Solar: Sudan is likely to witness a significant increase in utility-scale solar projects. International investors are showing growing interest in developing large solar farms to harness the country’s solar potential. This expansion will contribute to a more diversified energy mix and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Enhanced Regulatory Framework: Sudan’s government is expected to further refine and enhance the regulatory framework for renewable energy projects. This may include updates to the FiTs, streamlining permitting processes, and providing more clarity on project approvals.
Increased Local Participation: The government is likely to promote local participation in the renewable energy sector, encouraging Sudanese businesses to invest in and operate solar projects. This approach can lead to job creation and the development of local expertise in the industry.
Off-Grid Solar Solutions: Rural electrification and off-grid solar solutions will continue to be a focus. Sudan’s government recognizes the importance of providing electricity to remote areas, and off-grid solar systems are a cost-effective and sustainable way to achieve this.
Collaboration with International Organizations: Sudan may partner with international organizations and development agencies to access funding, technical expertise, and capacity-building support. Collaborations with entities like the World Bank and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) can accelerate the deployment of solar projects.
Research and Development: Expect increased investment in research and development (R&D) related to solar energy technologies. Sudanese universities and research institutions may play a more prominent role in advancing solar energy knowledge and innovations.
Community-Based Solar Projects: Community-based solar initiatives, where local communities are actively involved in project development and ownership, are expected to gain traction. These projects empower communities and contribute to energy access in remote areas.
In conclusion, Sudan is on the cusp of a solar energy revolution, and 2024 promises to be a pivotal year. With its favorable climate and the government’s commitment to renewable energy, the country is poised to harness its abundant solar potential. By further enhancing policies, regulations, and incentives, Sudan can attract more investments, promote sustainable energy access, and contribute to a greener and more energy-secure future. The solar energy sector is set to play a vital role in Sudan’s economic development and energy diversification in the years to come.