Entire village in Malawi to receive solar in pilot project


The SolarAid charity financed by a 5% slice of the profits of U.K. business SolarCentury is running a 12-month pilot scheme which will aim to supply every home in a remote village in Malawi with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems.

It is hoped that supplying the panels to every home in what SolarAid described as the “super-rural village” of Ntchisi will generate enough funds to pay for the costs of the pilot project.

Homeowners, who will be given access to a period of free electric lighting from the systems, will be offered the option of either buying the panels, or of leasing them and paying only for the electricity used.

The solar systems will be supplied by the SunnyMoney social enterprise owned by SolarCentury, which itself has been the object of a takeover by Norwegian state-owned renewables company Statkraft since November.

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Helped by a donation of £75,000 (€87,000) from science, technology, engineering and maths charitable foundation the Turner Kirk Trust, it is hoped the roll-out of solar in the 500 households in Ntchisi will lay a template for clean energy to reach remote settlements across Africa.

Elsewhere, European-based private sector solar body RES4Africa has welcomed Portuguese-owned Spanish solar developer EDP Renewables and French company Schneider Electric to its membership body.

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