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Magazine Archive 07-2020

Expand and connect

Almost 60% of Nigeria’s population currently has access to electricity. But this breaks down to 78% in cities and urban areas, and just 39% in rural communities. The Rural Electrification Agency (REA), established by the government as part of electricity sector reforms in 2005, is tasked with bridging this gap and bringing reliable energy supply to the most remote parts of Nigeria. pv magazine spoke with REA CEO Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad about the organization’s strategy and recent progress, as well as the challenges that remain for rural electrification in Nigeria and the role of PV technology.

In pursuit of universal energy access

Koen Peters has been the executive director of global offgrid solar association GOGLA since 2014. He has more than 20 years of international work experience, with more than 12 years in relation to energy access. He has gathered insights from many different perspectives and organizations, including government, consulting, startup businesses, and international finance organizations.

The gigawatt club gets a new member

Vietnam’s solar market has seen a boom in recent years, placing it among the leading global markets in terms of demand for solar installations. Quan Nguyen, CEO and founder of PV installer and EPC provider Sao Nam Integrated Technology (SNTek), shares some insight on the comprehensive policy support that helped drive this rapidly developing market, and what we can expect for PV in Vietnam over the next few years.

Reducing the risk

Since founding Rekamniar Frontier Ventures in 2011, Angella Rainford has seen plenty of success as a PV project developer working in emerging markets. Originally from Jamaica, she has come to focus primarily on the Caribbean region. Last year, she started a new company, Soleco Energy, in the commercial PV segment, as well. pv magazine recently caught up with the London-based investor to discuss solar PV projects and the rapidly developing energy markets of the Caribbean.

Empowering reconciliation

Western Australia’s Horizon Power is relatively unique among electric utilities – it supplies small cities, big and small agricultural and mining operations, and some of the most remote indigenous communities in the world. It has been a genuine pioneer in delivering cheaper, cleaner power through a combination of renewables and energy storage. It’s also awake to the opportunities for solar and storage to empower the Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander communities it serves, explains Horizon’s Roanna Edwards.

Pacific Islands embrace solar power to change lives

A profound shift is taking place in the Pacific Islands as countries move away from imported fossil fuels to explore their abundant solar potential and alleviate energy poverty. Over the last decade, the region’s energy transition has swung into full gear, driving the development of a whole new industry. Bruce Clay, general manager of Fiji-based EPC Clay Energy and president of the Sustainable Energy Industry Association of the Pacific Islands (SEIPA), talks about the market dynamics and region-specific challenges of unlocking solar power, on and off the grid.

‘It is time for Indonesia to become a solar powerhouse’

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), a Jakarta-based think tank, has emerged as a key voice calling for solar development in Indonesia. pv magazine recently caught up with Marlistya Citraningrum, the institute’s program manager for sustainable energy access, to look at what is still needed on the policy side for the archipelago nation to realize its massive PV potential.

Bangladesh’s renewables pioneer dreams of a ‘solar nation’

Dipal C Barua started installing rooftop solar systems in Bangladesh when the PV industry itself was in its infancy, with his company Grameen Shakti. Now heading up the Bright Green Energy Foundation, Barua installs small residential systems, streetlights, and irrigation pumps throughout rural Bangladesh under various government programs.

PV + e-mobility = economic development

Mobility in rural Kenya is currently flooded with unsustainable CO2-emitting motorcycles that pose a threat to the environment and public health. But the electric tricycle is an environmentally friendly alternative, and Solar E-cycles – a homegrown Kenyan startup – believes a leasing model could unlock a ton of three-wheeled potential.

Machine learning: ‘New electricity’ enabling access

Andrew Ng, a leading educator in machine learning, has described the technology as “the new electricity” for its ability to transform modern society. The roughly 780 million people globally without electricity access would happily settle for just the “old” electricity. But a growing amount of data from smart meters, satellite imagery, and other sources has allowed machine learning to play a bigger role in advancing energy access, as Dustin Zubke reports.

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