Oct 7, 2013

Solar grids for rural communities in Africa

The University of Southampton is leading an international project to provide sustainable electricity supplies to rural communities in Africa.

It is a 2.6 million euro (US$3.54 million) five year project.

The E4D project will develop a community-based mini-grid solar electrification system aimed at invigorating village trading centres (TC) by providing electricity directly to businesses, which in turn, provide charging for electrical appliances, such as LED lanterns for lighting and for mobile phones, to the rest of the community.

This is the concept of the Kitonyoni village market solar project established in 2012 in Makueni County, Kenya. The project displaced the use of candles or kerosene used for lighting within community households and businesses, which is expensive and has negative health effects. By working closely with the villagers, the E4D team established an economically sustainable approach, whereby the community is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the plant.

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