The Sustainable Development Goal set forth in SDG 7.1 calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. It is estimated that currently 789 million people do not have access to electricity in their homes or communities. Rural inhabitants encompass 80% of the total number of people lacking household electricity access. On a global scale, rural inhabitants have been gaining access to electricity at a rapid rate over the past couple decades (IRENA 2020, 23). However, certain regions have seen little improvement in this area. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the starkest example.
Offgrid solar expert GOGLA has just issued an E-waste Toolkit as part of its drive to establish a circular-powered renewable energy economy. Tying into the UP initiative’s Q4 circular manufacturing theme, pv magazine interviewed Drew Corbyn, GOGLA’s head of performance and investment, and the project manager in charge of the non-profit’s new e-waste management project.
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.
SunCrafter is a small German startup with a global ambition: to alleviate energy poverty by upcycling used solar PV modules. Having established an innovative business model, which sees it subsidizing its goals by meeting the infrastructure needs of big events and festivals, it has now partnered with EU-funded project Circusol to demonstrate the viability of circular renewables. pv magazine interviewed SunCrafter CEO and co-founder Lisa Wendzich as part of the UP initiative’s circular manufacturing quarterly theme.
Offgrid solar power has emerged as a vital part of the PV business across the African continent, and is now spreading to other parts of the globe, mainly with solar home systems and microgrids. pv magazine examines the core issues of financing, business models and the quest for user data.
Commercial mini-grids: To provide electricity access for all by 2030, the International Energy Agency estimates mini-grids will provide power to one-third of the 1.1 billion people without electricity. Powering equipment that can generate income for rural villagers is hailed as one of the most important ways of enhancing rural mini-grid bankability. Rural mini-grid companies today are working with communities to understand what income-generating equipment, called productive uses of electricity, can make viable businesses.
A 991 kW PV array will supply Kenya’s largest salt producer with 22% of its electricity, in a diesel-hybrid system delivered by SolarAfrica. The system was supported by a grant from the Japanese government’s Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).
A survey conducted in Kenya by Vulcan Impact Investing and mini-grid operator Steama.co, found that those who had benefited from solar mini-grids were eager for more solar power, while also highlighting how the technology had weened communities off kerosene and batteries.