ECHOcommunity Conversations

Solar energy development in Africa

I am a solar energy professional in the U.S. looking to help in someway the development of reliable and affordable energy to countries in Africa where there is an abundance of sun that might most benefit from it. Does anyone know if there is interest or progress or any ongoing solar projects in these countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Niger, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Western Sahara, Mali, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Madagascar? I’m interested mainly in electricity production for small business but would like to know in general to what level solar is being utilized in these countries.

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Hello Steve, I am in Nigeria and we have regular sunlight. My email is unity4goodliving@yahoo.com, I having been negotiating for a cheaper solar supply that I can partner with, someone promise cheaper solar batteries. Please contact me if your products can be cheaper and affordable by small businesses and households.

Regards.

My phone number is +2348061217026

Hello Steve,

I am in Cameroon. Unfortunately in the list of the african countries you mentioned above, Cameroon is not included. Does this mean that you are not interested in the development of affordable energy in Cameroon.

There is also sun in Cameroon. But no solar energy especially in rural areas. And where there, is it is very expensive for a familly living in rural area to afford it.

We also need you in Cameroon to help poor families to get solar energy. You are very welcome here

Looking forward to hearing from you soon

Gaston

Hi Steve, I’ve done some solar power work assisting UNHCR e in Ethiopia at refugee camps and audited several solar pumping systems in Uganda done by Oxfam. I’m a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders-USA and this work was done thru EWB-USA assisting those organizations. Many African countries allow some if not all solar products to be imported duty free. In 2019 even small solar panels in Uganda were retail at about $0.50 a watt.
Now grid intertied rules of course vary county to country and electrical codes (where they exist or are enforced) are all based off IEC codes. There is a lot of counterfeit products being sold into Africa from you can guess who. Wire well under marked wire sizes, copper coated iron wire sold as copper, fun stuff like that. Happy to fill you in, I’ve a couple of friends who were doing mini-grid work across Africa prior to COVID19 shutdowns. larry.bentley@engineer.com

Welcome and thanks for your dedication towards energy for sustainable use.
Am a Ugandan Appropriaye technology promoter for the last 30yrs working with both local and international development agencies here in East Africa.
I head a small energy communities based organization, Appropriate Technology Energy registered with local Government.
Recently completed one EU funded project ( Developing Energy Entrepreneur Projects East Africa DEEP/EA) Where I has experienced opportunities and challenges implementing development projects mainly Solar technology.
Am intrested in a partnership to curry out solar energy projects in Uganda.
Feel free contacting me on my address.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Richard Kizito
Director ApproTech

Thank you for everyone’s response! It’s great to see the enthusiasm for appropriate technology and how it can help Africa.

The reason for the 15 countries listed is that these are the countries I identified as the most in need, with the most sun (They are all Level 1 countries, countries with less than $3000 adjusted annual GDP/capita by physician and statistician Hans Rosling). If interested in further details I can send you my white paper on this (or you can find it on my Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-peterson-2b318238/detail/recent-activity/shares/)

So not ruling out Cameroon and Nigeria, just trying to prioritize.

Thanks for the information Larry. I will keep your email in my contact list. I have worked with EWB before as well and hope they continue in the renewable energy space.

Richard - I’d like to find out more what is going on in Uganda and what you think the needs and opportunities might be. I will contact you at your address.

Richard - Thanks for responding to my topic on solar on Echocommunity. Can you tell me more about what is happening in Uganda in terms of solar? Are there any projects for microgrids to supply certain businesses with energy? Is there funding from the UN or EU that we may partner on a project on to develop solar energy in Uganda? Or are there more local initiatives?

I work as a solar engineer in the U.S. doing mainly utility scale projects (1 MW to 300 MW) I have others on my team that could support me to design and implement projects as part of giving back to the global community. We have contacts with solar module and solar inverter and battery suppliers that we may be able to reach out to and see if they would be willing to provide products at cost as part of their charitable works.

I am a follower of Christ and this is what motivates me to want to do something constructive with my experience and skills in engineering and working in other countries.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My email is speterson@burnsmcd.com

These resources on ECHOcommunity.org may contribute to the discussion.
https://www.echocommunity.org/en/resources/dcfb180e-d4b3-4a88-8b09-17d8371263da

Please feel free to offer any other links that might speak to the topic well.

Hello Steve, I am from Liberia and we have regular sunlight. My email is (africancdi1@gmail.com), I have been negotiating for a cheaper solar supply that I can partner with, someone promise batteries. Please contact me if your products can be cheaper and affordable by small businesses and households.

Regards.
Mr Francis K. Tolnor

Dear Steve
I work as head of a Mission Hospital in Malawi, and am currently working to expand our hybrid Solar system with a grid-tie system.
Your expertise is welcome, even remotely.
Please inbox director@mmh.mw if you are interested.

Regards
Dr Arie
Mulanje Mission Hospital, Malawi

Hi Sir,
I am from Congo Brazzaville, and I am interested by thé offer.
Here is my mail : aleph6702@yahoo.fr
Thanks

It sounds like, from most of the responses, that what people are most looking for is a more affordable supply of solar supplies and equipment. Unfortunately, that is not my area. I am a consultant. But I can look into this more with my contacts to see if they offer better pricing on things like solar inverters, modules, and batteries if they are maybe second tier products - e.g., they have been test products or rejected from the main product line because of minor defects. I can also reach out to them to see if they have products they donate to worthy causes.

It sounds like some of you have already been working on this. Can you tell me what manufacturers you have had the most success with and what prices and warranties and service you are getting? In utility scale solar (so large scale projects above 20 MW) in the U.S. the going rate for modules is about $0.30/Wdc and inverters with transformers are around $0.05 - 0.06/W. This is for tier 1 products, 25 year and 5 year warranties respectively. Does this compare to what you are getting?

Hi Steve,
I hope you are well and in good health. My name is David and i will be interested to provide sustainable solution to my community especially on clean energy .My email is davidshamala60@gmail.com