Category: affordability

—Twaha Twagirimana, plant supervisor at East Africa’s first major solar energy installation, occupying more than 42 acres. How long did it take Rwanda to construct this new solar farm with over 28,000 solar panels, providing 350 local jobs and energy for 15,000 residents? It’s been called “the fastest project in Africa,” because the build-out took just five months. Bella Kabatesi is a teen who lives in Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, which shares space with and leases land to the solar farm…

—Rehema Kanama, who lives off the grid in a rural western Uganda. Kanama, a single mother, is making affordable monthly payments toward fully owning her new home solar system, which replaced an inefficient kerosene set-up. “The children are very happy,” Kanama said, because her three children are now able to use the more reliable lighting to complete their homework assignments. VIA AFRICA TIMES

In a recent energy auction in Chile, solar farms offered to provide power for three-fourths the price of coal. Renewable energy projects won every contract. Deutsche Bank says this may lead to more than 1 gigawatt of new solar installed in Chile this year, helping the country to reach its 45 percent renewables target. VIA BLOOMBERG

The village of Entasopia is five hours from Nairobi and, like two-thirds of Kenya’s population, does not have access to the national power grid. But a solar microgrid in the village connects houses and businesses to central PV panels by underground cable, providing power more cheaply than diesel or kerosene. Bar owner Peter Okoth says he now has 11 light bulbs and enough power to run a TV and sound system. His profits will soon buy a refrigerator. Nancy Kaisa…

–Sachi DeCou, whose company provides solar charging kiosks throughout Tanzania. Her firm is among many “solar-preneurs” working to provide energy to the 621 million Africans who lack electricity access. While renewable energy has already grown swiftly in the Middle East and North Africa, Tanzania is now one of several East African nations experiencing a boost in solar energy development. VIA FROST ILLUSTRATED

By 2017, 1 million of India’s most impoverished residents will have new access to energy, in the form of solar power systems. A social enterprise called ONergy will boost its current operations in the country to establish 50 new Renewable Energy Centres throughout East and Northeast India, creating 100 permanent jobs and training entrepreneurs in rural areas to offer customized solutions to local residents. The company is focusing on strategies to reach some of the most remote, impoverished areas. Their…