Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Solar Panels For Sale: An African Perspective

Category : Alternative Energy

 

If you live in a developed country, installing solar panels on your rooftop involves selecting a solar power company from a growing list of providers and setting up an appointment.

But this is far from the case for third-world countries.

Even if you’re only researching the theoretical principles of solar energy, it’s hard not to come across an ad shouting Solar Panels for Sale! when scouring the Internet, along with statistics and facts on how much solar energy can save you in the long run.

For instance, pulling up directories that list solar companies in each U.S. state is as easy as saying 1-2-3. Americans are offered tax reduction incentives, on top of getting closer to their goal of saving money and slashing their electricity bills.

To boot, even the environmentally conscious individual can feel good about purchasing and installing solar panels, knowing he is contributing, even minimally, to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere.

While governments of third-world countries and charities are trying to bring solar energy into communities, they are driven by a drastically different incentive: about a quarter of the world’s population, many in Africa, are off the grid and have no access to electricity.

This massive 1.5 billion of people rely on wood or charcoal for their everyday needs – heat sources that come with an onset of serious health problems. In fact, more than 90% of people in 11 countries in Africa have no access to electricity.

solar panels for sale

Residents of a Masai Mara village show tourists how they generate fire with a spindle, photo courtesy of author.

While the energy consumption habits of developed nations and the dangers of global warming are discussed at international climate talks, a quarter of the world is left in the dark – literally and figuratively.

United Nations Development Program director of development planning, Olav Kjørven, refers to the reality of these 1.5 billions of people as too basic to engage in debates over clean energy. In other words, good luck trying to find solar panels for sale in poverty-stricken areas, on top on running across gas, oil or any source of electricity – a fact that denies poorer countries access to clean water, health care services, education and economic development.

But surely some parts of third-world nations are making progress towards implementing reliable, cost effective and efficient energy systems that could provide solar power to members of their community?

The major problem, as one would expect, is a lack of resources; however, in some cases, solar energy is slowly emerging as a hire-purchase option for residents of a few areas. More recently on the solar power radar are African countries Mali and Zimbabwe.

Financial institutions in the capital of Mali, the third largest country in West Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world, are beginning to offer residents credit to purchase solar energy equipment.

Like many African countries, Mali experiences power cuts on a chronic basis, due to the fact that Énergie du Mali (EDM), the national energy company, doesn’t have the means to keep up with the country’s electricity needs. Many power cuts occur between the months of March to May, a period when sunlight is at its peak.

Included in the new solar energy kit are solar panels, batteries, and lights, all of which can total up to $1,000. According to United Nations data, the population of Mali lives on less than $1.25 a day. This means the majority of the population could never afford to purchase a solar energy kit without credit, discouraging Malians from foregoing their traditional fuel sources and adopting advanced technology in their every day lives.

The Mali solar kit project is lead by l’Agence des énergies renouvelables (AER, Mali’s Agency of Renewable Energies) and gives residents of Bamako and neighboring areas the chance to invest in solar power kits.

The agency’s director-general, Souleymane Berthé, comments that this would not only help the international problem of global warming but that this is a step towards solving the problem of access to electricity in Mali. He adds that there is no need to wait for the billions of dollars promised at Paris’ U.N. Climate Change Conference of 2015 to give Malians the “luxury” of electricity in their homes.

"One of the advantages of renewable energy loans is offering cheaper electricity to households," states Aminata Fofana, an advisor to Mali's energy minister.

In June, the government of Mali signed contracts with 10 local banks in just one day, giving them the opportunity to sell solar power systems (approved by the Agency of Renewable Energy) to residents interested in taking out a loan. This high number of participating financial institutions makes the administrative secretary of the Mali bankers’ association, Gaoussou Mariko, optimistic about the success of the project.

solar panels for sale

A quarter of the world’s population still lacks access to electricity to fulfill basic needs. Photo courtesy of author.

Many Malians find the idea appealing, as over 100 kits have so far been sold since the program launched. Based on a schedule determined by the lending bank, each customer ends up paying around $848 – or 500,000 Central African francs (CFA) for their solar power kits.

Just about half of Mali’s power is based on the use of fossil fuels, whose costs can quickly rise due to the volatility of prices on international markets, while the other half comes from sources of renewable energy.

In an effort to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, Énergie du Mali has made considerable efforts to increase the capacity of solar power across the country.

Since 2011, 5 hybrid solar power plants in rural areas of Mali have been established; government advisor Mr. Fassine Fofana, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Geothermal Limited, also reports that Mali is in the process of constructing 2 large-scale solar plants that will feed into the national grid – including Ségou, which is on its way to being the site of West Africa’s first industrial-scale solar power plant.

To build the $58-million plant, the Malian government has partnered with Scatec Solar, a Norwegian renewable energy company. Primarily financed by the World Bank, the Ségou plant will reduce Énergie du Mali’s carbon dioxide gas emissions by 46,000 ton every year. Most importantly, the Ségou plant will produce enough electricity each year to power 60,000 typical family homes – about 5% of Mali’s power needs.

Following Mali’s footsteps is Zimbabwe, a Southern African nation that is also showing innovation in offering affordable clean energy to its population.

Zimbabwe’s electricity production only meets 60% of its needs when demand is at its highest and often needs to import power at high costs, especially since frequent droughts sometimes render hydropower facilities inoperable. As a consequence, about 1.5 million households in Zimbabwe currently lack electricity.

While the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is currently taking measures to limit the acquisition of electricity from outside sources, sustainable energy experts believe that solar panels unconnected to Zimbabwe’s national power grid are the most convenient and least expensive way to provide electricity to those in need.

“Only focusing on grid extension and increasing generation capacity will not allow us to attain energy access for all by 2030,” says Chiedza Maizaiwana, manager of the Power for All Zimbabwe Campaign. She adds that creating an opportunity for families and business to access renewable energy is imperative.

Residents of rural areas of Zimbabwe earn about $20 to $100 a month according to Ruzivo Trust, a non-governmental organization that aims to improve rural energy access. This low-income makes it impossible to connect to electrical grids, which can cost thousands of dollars. Families continue to seek cheaper alternatives – including firewood, charcoal, and polluting fuels – and spend about $26 per month to fulfill their electrical needs.

According to experts, a lack of innovative business models, such as rent-to-buy or pay-as-you-go solar systems, is responsible for depriving communities access to affordable renewable energy.

Take for instance Jonathan Njerere, an energy engineer at OXFAM Zimbabwe, a subset of OXFAM – an international organization dedicated to ending poverty and injustice across the globe. Jonathan Njerere helped set up a community-owned and self-financing solar energy scheme in Gutu district.

The community obtained solar equipment for farming irrigation from OXFAM, which assisted local farmers water their crops in the district.

As part of the project, OXFAM also sold a batch of solar lanterns to community members of Gutu district. An established savings and lending infrastructure assembles all proceeds, which permits other members to join in the project and purchase solar products for their homes and/or businesses. Energy kiosks, currently also used in other parts of Africa, facilitate the purchase of solar panels and related needed equipment with community funds.

The European Union has funded the program with $2.22 million, which has tremendously helped small businesses acquire hire-purchase solar panels.

Hopefully, both Mali and Zimbabwe are setting a good example for other third-world nations to embrace solar energy and improve their overall quality of life, education and health while boosting their local economies.

While the words solar panels for sale still remain prominent in the U.S., we can only hope that the phrase “hire-purchase solar panels available here” will continue to grow and light up the planet’s darker regions.

 

Solar Panels For Sale: A Third-World Perspective


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FG to Inject Fresh N701bn in Solar Energy!

Solar energy breaks more grounds as the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, Tuesday announced federal government’s plans to provide renewable power supply (solar power) for no fewer than one million households in rural communities that are not connected to the national grid.

Osinbajo who made this disclosure at the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) at the Presidential Villa, said the plan would foster economic growth and would be implemented in phases.

According to him, the first phase will take off with supply in 20,000 homes with additional 20,000 households to guarantee target beneficiaries’ access to power supply and consequently create jobs.

He recalled how a rural setting, Wuna, in Gwagwalada Local Government of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which he said was hitherto not connected to the national grid, secured access to power supply through renewable energy initiative championed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

He also disclosed that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) was developing an energy database that would reflect community locations and energy demand profiles, which he said would in turn save time and money for solar home system/solar mini grid providers.

Describing the move as a step towards restructuring the power sector to pave the way for availability of renewable energy, Osinbajo also disclosed federal government’s move to alter the gridlock in the liquidity of the entire electricity value chain through the recent approval of N701 billion by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“We are doing 20,000 more homes in this first phase of this exercise and another 20,000 households to provide access to lighting and electric power for small devices. The plan is to expand the solar home system programme to one million households, creating a few more million jobs.

“The federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency is developing an energy database that will show community locations and energy demand profiles, which in turn saves solar home system/solar mini grid providers time and money because we have already identified the communities beforehand.
The Wuna home solar project is an example of how we can creatively and aggressively provide power to our people by this pragmatic approach to our energy mix.
“We are convinced that renewable energy probably offers us the most sustainable means of increasing energy access to those who have no electricity and have no immediate hope of being connected to the national grid.

“We want to embark on a broader restructuring of the electricity sector and strive to achieve a more systematic development of power market design especially for the renewable energy. To do that, we need a framework that brings together all stakeholders towards ensuring that renewable energy becomes a real engine of growth for the Nigerian economy.

“We have mentioned several of the plans, the power sector plans and so many of those initiatives. The latest is to break the gridlock in the liquidity of the entire electricity value chain and so, our payment assurance system of over N701 billion has been approved by the FEC and in fact, the first payment has been made and we are going to make up the second payment.

“We hope that we free up that value chain which has created several problems of its own and we hope that this injection will help. We are also looking at several other reforms in the sector hoping that the market can become self-sustaining, independent and run on its own and free up all of the private sector energy that is waiting to come into the market.

“So as a multi-stakeholder platform, the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable therefore has its work cut out for it. I believe it is to champion this new vision for renewable energy and ensure that we can translate theory to practise for the greater good of the Nigerian people,” he said.
In his submission, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the ministry in collaboration with the private sector had relentlessly pursued alternative energy sources and would sustain the move because of its tendency to enhance diversification.

He added that concentration on renewable energy would be beneficial to rural areas and also help to create jobs as contained in the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) adding that diversification could only be successful in an atmosphere of renewable energy.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, pledged the National Assembly’s preparedness to provide all required regulatory frameworks to serve as the legal backing for renewable energy initiative.

 


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Where were you the day solar power came to ASTEC, Owerrinta?

Over the weekend AWPS Renewable Energy was at Adventist Secondary Technical College in Owerrinta to introduce the students to solar power.

As Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium quality solar power, we believe that it is incumbent on us to groom the next generation of solar enthusiasts. And the best place to start is with our children.

My wife, Mrs Ann Suzette Onwuasoanya had done some STEM related work with the school under the leadership of the old principal Dr. KCK Nwangwa and we are continuing with the new leadership.

We are excited to work with the new principal Mr. Nwaejike. We will also be working with assistant Principal Chioma Ogwuma and Life Science instructor Ifeanyi Azode to bring the magic of solar power to the students as directed by Mr. Nwaejike. The new principal is a forward thinker that quickly grasped the opportunity that this presented to the institution.

The principal was thankful and hoped AWPS Renewable Energy LTD, would do more to support the school in the future.

As part of the program AWPS Renewable Energy’s initial donation is

one 100 watt solar panel,

one 200 AH 12 V battery,

one PWM charge controller and

a few hours a quarter of our technical associates time.

In addition to learning how solar works and how to make the connections the students will conduct an energy audit of the school to learn how we can reduce the schools electricity consumption. Working with our company, they will design an alternative to their generator and build a working prototype.

We are very excited at the opportunity to not only give back but to create the next generation of energy experts.

Why have you not gone solar?

Source Christopher Onwuasoanya (President of AWPS Renewable Energy Ltd)

 


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Has power outage snuffed life out of your Home or Business?

Why haven’t you gone solar?  For many residents of Alimosho Local Council, especially those living around Ikotun, Igando, Isheri and Iyana-Ipaja, electricity supply from noisy power-generating sets has been their only source of power in the last seven months.

For them, the Ikeja Electricity Company, the power distribution company that should be supplying them electricity only exists by name.

Findings revealed that most of these residents do not even know the reason behind the blackout. This is because transformers in their domain are not faulty, neither is any of the high-tension cables damaged.

Ironically, until the residents kicked against exploitation by the distribution company and refused to pay any electricity bills, the distribution company still expected them to pay their monthly electricity bills.

Right now, the power outage has not only affected businesses in the affected areas, social life in the communities has been ruined.

Mrs. Mojiola Adekiyesi, a hair stylist, who resides at Ijegun, said the power outage has snuffed life out of her business.

According to her, since cannot afford to power her generating set all-day long, some of her customers are looking for alternative outfits to do business with.

“Apart from hairdressing, I sell drinks too, and customers prefer cold drinks. So, when the drinks are not cold, people just go for alternatives. So, if there is anything that can be done to restore public power supply in this area, I will be really glad.”

For Miss Emmanuella Okoye, who lives in Ikotun, the continuous power outage has forced residents to take steps in order not to be “left in the dark.”

“For instance, we all go about with our mobile phones and chargers at night looking for where to charge these devices for a fee. Every now and then, I spend N50 to charge my mobile phone and torchlight. The most annoying thing is the fact that they still bring electricity bills for us to pay.

“Sometimes at midnight, we are supplied electricity for only a few minutes just in a bid to justify supply, and when we refuse to pay the crazy bills that they come up with at the end of the month, they just come around and get affected persons disconnected. At some point, I stopped paying the electricity bills because I can’t be spending money on services that I am not enjoying. I am tired of this area.”

On his part, Mr. Uche Nwabodo, who lives in Isheri, said “We don’t see light at all, and it affects what I do. When you talk of light in this area, it is nothing to write home about.”

Mr. Chibueze Okeke, living in Igando, sells frozen chicken and fish. Okeke said he does not rely on the disco for supply of electricity. “I have a solar power system of 7kva inverter and 5KW in panels and 4 batteries installed.  I run on this system from morning till night, reason I had all my goods chilled and frozen, I don’t have to get worried about NEPA                    Source: TheGaurdian


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Has power outage snuffed life out of your Home or Business?

Why haven’t you gone solar?  For many residents of Alimosho Local Council, especially those living around Ikotun, Igando, Isheri and Iyana-Ipaja, electricity supply from noisy power-generating sets has been their only source of power in the last seven months.

For them, the Ikeja Electricity Company, the power distribution company that should be supplying them electricity only exists by name.

Findings revealed that most of these residents do not even know the reason behind the blackout. This is because transformers in their domain are not faulty, neither is any of the high-tension cables damaged.

Ironically, until the residents kicked against exploitation by the distribution company and refused to pay any electricity bills, the distribution company still expected them to pay their monthly electricity bills.

Right now, the power outage has not only affected businesses in the affected areas, social life in the communities has been ruined.

Mrs. Mojiola Adekiyesi, a hair stylist, who resides at Ijegun, said the power outage has snuffed life out of her business.

According to her, since cannot afford to power her generating set all-day long, some of her customers are looking for alternative outfits to do business with.

“Apart from hairdressing, I sell drinks too, and customers prefer cold drinks. So, when the drinks are not cold, people just go for alternatives. So, if there is anything that can be done to restore public power supply in this area, I will be really glad.”

For Miss Emmanuella Okoye, who lives in Ikotun, the continuous power outage has forced residents to take steps in order not to be “left in the dark.”

“For instance, we all go about with our mobile phones and chargers at night looking for where to charge these devices for a fee. Every now and then, I spend N50 to charge my mobile phone and torchlight. The most annoying thing is the fact that they still bring electricity bills for us to pay.

“Sometimes at midnight, we are supplied electricity for only a few minutes just in a bid to justify supply, and when we refuse to pay the crazy bills that they come up with at the end of the month, they just come around and get affected persons disconnected. At some point, I stopped paying the electricity bills because I can’t be spending money on services that I am not enjoying. I am tired of this area.”

On his part, Mr. Uche Nwabodo, who lives in Isheri, said “We don’t see light at all, and it affects what I do. When you talk of light in this area, it is nothing to write home about.”

Mr. Chibueze Okeke, living in Igando, sells frozen chicken and fish. Okeke said he does not rely on the disco for supply of electricity. “I have a solar power system of 7kva inverter and 5KW in panels and 4 batteries installed.  I run on this system from morning till night, reason I had all my goods chilled and frozen, I don’t have to get worried about NEPA                    Source: TheGaurdian


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 It is perfect for off-grid, backup power and self-consumption applications, it is a pure sine wave, hybrid inverter system with switchable 50/60 Hz frequencies, providing power for every need. For expanded off-grid capacity, the Conext SW is integrated with fuel-based generators as required to support loads larger than the generator’s output. It’s also self-consumption ready, able to prioritize solar consumption over the grid, while maintaining zero grid export.

 The Conext SW works with the grid to avoid peak utility charges and support the grid when utility supply is limited. Accessories include pre-wired universal DC distribution panel and AC distribution panels. Stacking two Conext SW units will double the system’s total output power and available solar charge controllers allow for the integration of solar capacity as required. 

We have installed over 60 solar power projects in 13 States, the F.C.T and one in Accra Ghana. We always installed to meet American and European toughest code.


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Abuja house that runs solely on solar power…for three years

Category : Alternative Energy

Roof top of the solar panel array
Side view with an air conditioner

At Last, A Truly Solar Powered Home in Abuja

 

 

 

The layout in Mpape District in Abuja looks like your average urban residence.

But there’s a difference. The fully functional four-bedroom bungalow depends solely on solar power for all its energy requirements 24 hours of the day and night.

This family house that has been sustained by solar power since 2013 is a living proof that you can go completely off the the public power supply grid as a choice. Yes, no utility (‘Nepa’) wires at all!

The Edaches, like other Nigerians, have had their fill of the epileptic power supply from the Nigerian public utility company. It was therefore not a difficult decision for them when they completed their 4-bedroom apartment in 2013 to run it on solar power from Day One.

According to Mr. Edache, “Initially we had to run generator for 3 hours every day to supplement the generation from the sun. Then we quickly ramped up and have since dispensed with the generator – in fact we have since lent it out.”

The self-sustaining automatically controlled setup comprises 5.8kWp monocrystalline solar panels, 65kWh of battery storage and two separate inverters. The installation which was carried out by a renewable energy start-up in Abuja, powers all the appliances including two refrigerators, one freezer, two air conditioners, one washing machine among other loads.

Domestic hot water is provided by a roof-top solar water heater while water pumping is handled by an integrated solar borehole pump.

“Considering the wide electricity supply-demand gap in a country that generates only about 30% of its power requirement with only 40% of the population having access to the hardly available electricity, self-generation, using solar energy which is abundant and green, is a no-brainer.,” an energy expert and owner of the home said.

He adds: “Even if you don’t go off-grid like this home , you can start with smaller systems that offset the deficits of the public utility you are already connected to. There’s no reason why shops and offices with essential tasks cannot take advantage of the daytime availability of solar instead of incurring huge fuel costs with the attendant noise and air pollution, not to mention the hazard of fire.”

 

http://everyday.ng/2017/06/12/the-house-run-solely-on-solar-power-for-three-years-in-abuja/


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Mozambique develops First Solar Power Plant!

Mozambique is gearing up to develop its first solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, funded by a consortium of financiers.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has promised $19 million in funding as part of a $55 million package to support the new utility in Mocuba, Africa Times reported.

According to Africa Times, in addition to the IFC pledge, the funds include $19 million from Climate Investment Funds, and a loan of up to $17 million.

 “The signing of the Mocuba financing is a great achievement for EdM and Mozambique’s electricity sector,” said Mateus Magala, Chairman of EdM.

Magala extended his gratitude to the financing partners for “their excellent cooperation and the hard work in getting the project to this important milestone.”

According to the IFC, this project is part of broader efforts to promote private investment and help bring reliable and clean electricity to consumers while diversifying the energy mix in an effort with long-term climate change impacts in view, Africa Times reported.

Mozambique’s state-owned power utility, EDM, will procure the generated power through a signed 25-year power purchase agreement.

Media explained: “The plant is being developed by Scatec Solar, headquartered in Norway, and the local Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) utility, along with the Norfund development finance agency.

“Other financial support comes from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), with a grant from the Technical Assistance Fund of the Private Infrastructure Development Group.”

In November last year, the international independent solar power producer, Scatec Solar declared that in partnership with Norfund, they have secured the sale of solar power over a 25-year period to the state-owned utility EDM.

The plant is expected to deliver 77,000MWh per year of electricity to the northern regions of the country and produce enough energy to serve about 175,000 households.

Source: EsiAfrica

 


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Dr Solar on “The Architect” FM 92.3

Category : Alternative Energy

Here is part 2 of the radio showed. It was recorded June 6 2017. The Architect on Nigeria Info 92.3 with Adaora, Daniel and Ebi. Special Guest Christopher “Dr. Solar” Onwuasoanya


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Environmentalist Tasks FG on Solar Energy

An environmental activist, Mr. Nnimo Bassey, has urged the Federal Government to  invest the money for the proposed nuclear power  project into solar power generation.


Bassey, stated this recently at the University of Port Harcourt, during an  event on Peace, Nuclear Power and Types of Conflicts.
He said most times, the country proposes things without thinking  about the money involved.
“The thing is that the power  that this nuclear  project will generate for the country can be easily generated from solar installation”, he said.
According to him, solar energy is safer and can be put in place without much expenses.
The activist further stressed that, such monies could be used, for renewable power development.
“if you have nuclear power, you must depend on the national grid, but with solar, you can target communities and neighborhoods that do not have transmission lines”, he said.
He added that, with such an arrangement Nigeria could be adequately electrified.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Chris Wear, said he is not in support of the plan for the Federal Government to build “nuclear plant in the country.
Wear, who bared his mind after shortly after a speech he delivered explained, that nuclear plants lead to radiations and leaks that are extremely dangerous, to the environment and health of the people.
“Nuclear power creates energy which leads to the production of a nuclear bomb and  leaks can lead to radiations and expose health hazards  to the populace”, he said.
According to him, nuclear plants are not suitable for developing  countries like Nigeria.

Source; thetide