The house with solar roof Senegal

What will 2018 bring for off-grid solar systems

By Evie Harrison  2018 is the year of renewable energy resources. All around the world, people from all walks of life are looking for alternative energy sources not only because fossil fuels are running out, but also because they want to live clean lives. At the same time that electric cars making waves in various parts of the world, people have started to look to the sky for solar power. According to stats, solar power systems have experienced a sales , mostly due to the residents and businesses installing panels in China and America.Although fossil fuel energy consumption is decreasing, most people are still unaware of the benefits of going completely off-grid. It’s common knowledge that investing in a solar system will lead , they don’t know that there is a way to stop the utility bills once and for all. You can easily depend on other resources for power and electricity. 2018 has a lot to offer for off-grid systems and has developed tremendously.  Before diving in, however, it is important to k what off-grid solar systems are and whether or not they will be beneficial for you. So, without further delay, let’s look at what an off-the-grid system is. Photo by: royalty free image

The house with solar roof Senegal

The Innovative Light Up Kwara Project Comes Alive​

By Dr Dickson Aleroh MChem(Hons) MSc PhD  Following the signing of the technical/financial agreement by Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited (an SPV made up of Riccofortezza Nigeria Limted and Asteven International Limited) and the Kwara State Government on the second day of the month of February 2017 in Ilorin, Kwara State, great strides have been made towards the anticipated completion of the innovative solar project. Such is the progress that has been made that phases 1 & 2, which involves the installation of over 500 single-arm and 240 double-arm LED solar street lights have been completed. The aforementioned installations are mainly concentrated within the Ilorin metropolis with subsequent phases to include the rural regions (Offa, Omaran, Patigi, Ajashe e.t.c) of the state. Much of the emphasis is now fully focused on the installation of the first on-road solar mini-grid system (aka. solar PV farm tunnel (SFT)) to be constructed by two indigenous companies in Africa with over 390 kW combined capacity.  Photo by Dr Dickson Aleroh

The house with solar roof Senegal

Renewables: No threat to oil & gas​

By Ayobami Adedinni  The renewable energy sector has been described as an opportunity rather than a threat to the oil and gas sector.In the past few years, there has been a lively debate about the increasing role of renewables at the expense of fossil fuels, particularly in power generation.Some say that renewables are not an existential threat and believe that they might take only a small piece of the pie by 2040, due to high costs and vital government subsidies.On the other hand, others believe that costs are declining fast, and it may take a significant share in power generation, knocking not just coal, but also natural gas off the throne.In an interview with business a.m, Olasimbo Sojinrin, country manager, Nigeria at solar sister, a social enterprise that seeks to eradicate energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity, said despite the continual use of oil and gas, it has been unable to mankind has been unable to solve mankind challenge the challenge of energy posed.This, according to her, is why conventional oil companies are now divesting into the sector. Photo by Georgi Nikolov on unsplash

The house with solar roof Senegal

Solar micro grids enable sustainable rural living

By Ariana Tozzi, Aparna Katre, Subhes C. Bhattacharyya  Over one billion people live without access to energy globally, but despite this, the latest  paints an optimistic picture about the future. Progress towards global universal electrification is accelerating and India’s “colossal achievements” put the country on course to reach universal electrification by 2030.To date, India’s remarkable progress has been largely driven by the expansion of the central grid, with a rate of electrification that has doubled since the early 2000s. The Indian government has claimed that 100% of villages are now considered electrified as part of the Dindayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana scheme promoted by the Ministry of Power. Most recently, the  scheme aims to extend electricity infrastructure to all households by March 2019. With  still lacking an electricity connection, this will be a challenging task.Grid connectivity alone cannot be an indicator of development unless usable, affordable and modern supply is ensured. The reliability, quality and duration of the supply from the central grid continues to be a particular problem in the Indian subcontinent, especially in rural areas of the country, which is home to almost .  in some of the most energy poor states highlighted how a large portion of rural electrified households still rely on kerosene lamps as their primary source of illumination, with significant implications on the health and well-being of these communities.Remote villages are particularly challenging when it comes to provision of reliable and affordable power. , the costs of a central grid extension to a remote rural village of around 30 households whose distance from the closest grid line is approximately 5 km could be up to INR 46 (USD 70 cents). This is far higher than the  (US 4 cent) per unit that an average urban residential consumer pays. Photo by Adam Barr

The house with solar roof Senegal

Indonesia makes strides in solar energy​

By Daniel J. Graeber  More than $150 million in loans will help Indonesia build its first utility-scale solar power plants, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.ADB said it would offer financial support for a project led by Vena Energy, the largest power producer in the Asia-Pacific, to advance renewable energy projects in Indonesia. The first phase of the project calls for the construction of a 72 megawatt wind power plant. The second phase calls for a combined 28 MW in solar power plants, the first ever envisioned for the country. Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte said his company was capitalizing on Indonesia's renewable energy commitments. Photo by Mike Merner on Unsplash

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Solar-Powered Water Pumps Offer African Farmers a Way Out of Poverty​

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The house with solar roof Senegal

By Chris Warren. Funded by Winrock International for Greentech Media.

 

 

Joshua Okundi’s five-acre farm is his classroom. A longtime schoolteacher who left his job to become a farmer in 2013, Okundi is an instructor to the constant stream of visitors who arrive at his home in Kendu, a small rural village in the western reaches of Kenya.

 

Visitors come seeking advice, seedlings, and a glimpse at technologies that can help them succeed.

Over the past two years, Okundi has exposed locals to the potential of solar-powered water pumps. Okundi was first introduced to the technology in 2015, when a representative from the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation (KSSI) project brought a pump to show to a group of farmers.

 

Okundi instantly grasped why it was better than the diesel-powered pumps he had tried to use in the past. “Whenever there is sun, you can pump water,” he said. “Whenever a generator is running [the pump], you have to use fuel. And the pump usually gets broken. And if the cost of the damage is too heavy, that will render most of the crops useless.”

 

The benefits of a reliable pump that doesn’t require costly fuel are obvious in this part of Africa. With a climate that is typically hot and dry, agriculture has always been a challenge here. Climate change is making it even more difficult. As increasingly frequent, extended and severe droughts become the norm, the need for reliable irrigation is pressing. 

 

Okundi now uses four pumps to irrigate his crops of tomatoes and corn and to replenish a small pond where he raises tilapia and catfish to sell in local markets. Besides witnessing the pumps in action, farmers with little money hear this important message: The pump pays for itself quickly. 

 

Using a pump to grow just half an acre of tomatoes offers a quick payback. “Within three months, he will be in a position to start to repay with the profits,” he said. Winrock International, the NGO that implemented the KSSI project, performed ROI studies on two farmers who purchased solar pumps. The study found that one farmer could expect a gross profit increase of 350 percent after paying off a 22-month loan, and the other farmer was projected to enjoy a 235 percent increase after retiring a two-year loan. 

 

 

Photo credit: Winrock International/Bobby Neptune

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