An international research group has examined the structural barriers to addressing the solar e-waste problem in the Global South. They argue that the focus should be on repairing devices, rather than recycling them.
CrossBoundary EnergyAccess Nigeria has committed to invest $60 million in minigrid projects developed by Engie, in the largest such transaction in Africa. The projects will connect more than 150,000 people to electricity for the first time.
The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide $20 million of concessional loans to support pay-as-you-go solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Indonesia will have to get to work installing more than 24 GW of solar this year – and every year – if the region is to achieve the 2.1 TW to 2.4 TW of photovoltaics Irena has estimated it will require to achieve a net zero carbon energy system by 2050.
Enerwhere has designed a solar-plus-storage mobile unit for offgrid locations such as oil and gas fields and construction sites. It can be adapted to different needs and is scalable up to megawatt-scale projects.
In two remote regions of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, PV-powered microgrids bring electricity to a university and an agricultural ranch, neither of which are well served by the regional grid. The microgrids make use of lithium-ion batteries supplied by Growatt, alongside modules from local manufacturer SolarEver. The projects serve as an example of how products like Growatt’s off-grid inverters and energy storage solutions can bring reliable solar power to regions with limited energy access.
In other news, Volvo has invested in fast-charging battery tech firm StoreDot, Tesla has reported record profits in Q1, and Dutch start-up behind the world’s first commercial grid-independent solar car Lightyear has entered a carsharing partnership.
The clean power numbers published annually by the International Renewable Energy Agency provide a snapshot of the global solar market and, this year, a lot of figures were unchanged from the previous dataset, especially in the off-grid segment.
Researchers in Mexico have looked at integrating hydrogen-based power-to-gas-to-power into an existing rural microgrid. They said this solution could become competitive if electrolyzer, fuel cell and hydrogen tank costs are halved, or if diesel prices keep rising.
Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.
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