Category: local resident

—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…

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…

— Prashant Mandal, who lives in Madhotanda in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state. About 20 million households in Uttar Pradesh lack electricity. For those on the grid, power is often only available only a few hours a day. Solar kits like the one Mandal leases from SimpaNetworks provide reliable power for two LED lights and a fan. Before solar kits were available for lease, Mandal said he had to carry a battery a kilometer back and forth to recharge it…

— Shama Bibi, who lives in a village outside Bahawalpur in Pakistan, on what solar-powered light has meant for her. She and women in 150 off-grid villages across Pakistan work with the Buksh Foundation to install solar charging stations and rent solar lights to local residents. Plans are in place to reach 4,000 villages by 2017. Gul Muhammad, a farmer in the village outside Bahawalpur, says solar has allowed him to cut his kerosene use and save 350 rupees ($3)…

—Tonny Okello Japser, a resident of Olil village in Kole district, Uganda. Japser opened a salon in 2010 to augment his income from farming, but quickly realized it was costly to operate his new business using a petroleum-powered generator. In 2013, he invested in a solar panel instead. Now, customers flock to his salon for haircuts and also tap into his solar energy to charge their cellphones. His two jobs, amplified by savings from going solar, allow him to comfortably…

— Lungela Vongu, a resident of Cookhouse in South Africa, on the large wind project there that provides electricity to local villages. With wind energy from new projects roughly half the cost of new coal, low cost is driving rapid renewables expansion in the country. In fact, a coal company is soon to break ground on a $300m wind energy project in the Eastern Cape. “On the continent, there really is the opportunity to leapfrog the old centralised large scale…