Off-grid weekly digest

Off-grid projects continues to make headlines in India, which is aiming to bring electricity to 20,000 villages in the country still in the next five years.

In a recent budget speech, Indian Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley said off-grid solar would be among the methods used to electrify the villages, which still don’t have access to power.

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced allocations of 1,500 and 2,000 solar pumps to the states of Chhattisgarh and Andra Pradesh. The allocations were announced on the MNRE website and were issued, the ministry said, in response to requests from both states.

Indian rating company ICRA, meanwhile, released its ratings for debt instruments on March 9. The ratings included off-grid solar companies Alternative Energy Corporations, Bajaj Electricals, Greenroof Solar, Rashmi Industries, SDC Power Technologies, Sree Nandhees Technologies, Tata Power Delhi Distribution, Tata Power Solar Systems, and Techser Power Solutions. Ratings for the firms differed greatly.

In Liberia, NCRECA International is to begin work on providing access to electricity. The foundation, which works to promote electricity, will install off-grid systems in a project slated to last four years. Although it is not clear as to whether NRECA International will utilize off-grid solar, it seems a foregone conclusion given their previous work. It is understood that the work will be carried out in conjunction with international partners.

Greentech Lead reported that Azuri Technologies released its Quad system for off-grid African markets. The system, which utilizes a 10 W panel, is part of its HomeSmart line. According to Greentech Lead, the system can light a rural household for eight hours each night. The system is part of the PayGo series and uses HomeSmart technology, which accounts for energy use during the day and adjusts how the system works accordingly.

In Myanmar, the Ministry of Electric Power has said it needs $600 million to extend power to another 1.7 million homes by 2019, according to a report in the Myanmar Times. To date, the World Bank has offered loans totaling $90 million for off-grid electrification in rural areas. The ministry is drafting its National Electricity Master Plan with help from agencies and governments around the world.

NOTES AND NUGGETS

Interesting write-up in Santa Fe New Mexican about the history of solar in the state, and the problems and tensions between end-consumers and the local power company.

It appears that someone at Clean Technica may be taking The Walking Dead a little too seriously as they’ve written an article on the best solar system in case of a zombie apocalypse on.

Interesting review of the Australian domestic solar market, which has a large proportion of off-grid, as reported in RenewEconomy.

The Pakistan off-grid market has been under-served to date. One company is working to change this, according to TechInAsia.