Category: Africa

Officials from the African Union and African Development Bank have announced a goal of delivering at least 300 gigawatts of power to the continent by 2030 — all from clean energy. That would be an addition of two times as much electricity as is currently generated in all African nations now from all power sources combined. VIA WASHINGTON POST

—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

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…

Morocco currently generates nearly all its power from fossil fuels, and people in rural areas face daily problems with reliability, “from flickering light bulbs to malfunctioning hospital equipment.” To address the reliability issues as well as vulnerability to fossil fuel price fluctuations, the country plans to meet 42% of its electricity demand through clean energy sources by 2020. The first phase of the Noor 1 concentrating solar plant located outside Ouarzazate is expected to be online within the next few…

Throughout Africa from Ivory Coast to Morocco to Kenya, major solar projects are sprouting, each helping provide access to the 600 million Africans who lack access to energy. “Energy is a major issue for the African continent, because someone who does not have access to energy cannot have access to health, telecommunications, or education,” said industry executive Alexandre Castel. While the solutions all contribute to a singular goal, leaders are not pursuing a one-size-fits-all approach. While Benin is banking on 100 small renewable…