Off-grid weekly digest

Italy-based FuturaSun introduced its new solar lighting system at the launch of Lighting Africa – Nigeria programme in Lagos, according to This Day Live. The FuturaSun systems, which contains three lights with 3 metre cables and a USB port for charging phones, is around the size of a standard laptop computer.

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has cancelled the purchase of a total of 3,500 solar pumps for the areas of Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The cancellation appears to directly counteract last week’s announcement, which was also made on the MNRE website. The reasons for the cancellations of 1,500 and 2,000 water pumps were given as additional allocations and sanctions dated 10 March.

Conergy Australia has released the Conergy Hybrid Energy Storage System, according to Mining Australia. The system is housed in easily transportable standard shipping containers with scalable power output in 100kW increments continuing upward, depending on site requirements.

The Zambian government is set to install over 4,000 solar-powered hammer mills, according to IT Web Africa. The mills are set to be supplied by Zambia-based China Non-Ferrous Corporation. The move is in direct response to rising mealie meal prices within the country. Not all the mills will be connected to the grid although the exact proportions of grid and off-grid have not been revealed.

Vibe Ghana revealed that Barefoot Power Africa has opened an office in Ghana. The company, which supplies home systems and pico projects, has a worldwide headquarters in Australia with offices in Hong Kong, China, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, India, and Mexico.

1,200 people in the Oro Province in Papua New Guinea have been given electricity access through a 12v DC off-grid solar system, according to Marianas Variety. The project, undertaken by Melanesia’s Million Miracle Partnership, also involved the implementation of 200 solar pico lanterns. The project also involved solar shops on-site, which will be run by local women who will receive business and technical training. Similar projects are planned for the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in the next couple of months.

South Africa’s national electricity company, Eskom, wants to raise its tariffs by 25.3 per cent, according to htxt.africa. It is doubtful that the tariffs will be raised that much but the fact of its asking is a blow to the already-troubled company. We recently published a large article on the South African market, outlining how Escom’s troubles had pushed the surging solar sector there.

NOTES AND NUGGETS

Interesting piece on The Energy Collective about grid expansion in India. Only a few, minor mentions of off-grid solar but the comments are enlightening.

A fascinating story on TechinAsia about the solar landscape in Pakistan.

Global Village Energy Partnership International published a case study of one woman in Rwanda and the benefits that solar has brought to her life

The Dollar Business has reported on some of the issues that India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is facing under its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in regards to funding.

Euromoney takes an in-depth look at the African market, and the role off-grid solar could play there.

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