Monday, 15 February 2016

Say Yes to Solar Power

Say Yes to Solar PowerAlmost two decades into the 21st century, energy poverty continues to deprive the strength of Africa’s social and economic development. More than half of the population lacks access to electricity, and businesses that could create jobs are troubled by recurrent blackouts. But the good news is that governments and investors are now committed to mending the situation - and have a better chance of doing so than ever before.

Solar power is now being accepted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix: it can be produced more economically than often high wholesale power prices; it can reduce a country’s exposure to predictable future fossil fuel prices; and above all it can be built very quickly to meet unfulfilled demand for electricity.

South Africa taking the lead
There was a time when solar panels in South Africa were only seen at the roofs of a few well-off households. But that scenario has changed and is changing gradually. This rapid revolution has been made possible with the help of three major factors: the worldwide drive towards renewable energy, an extremely agonistic local electricity supply, and a continuous drop in solar panel prices. Taking a strong lead from other countries, South Africa devoted itself to an energy generation infrastructure development plan for 2010 to 2030, known as the Integrated Resource Plan. Under the plan the country intents to attain 9600 MW of solar power capacity by 2030.

Private sector of the country is trying its hands on developing solar plants under a particularly designed procurement program. Eskom is also constructing some facilities. In the last ten years the defining development in solar energy has been the sharp drop in the prices of photovoltaic panels. There has also been small technological advances in other solar technologies and in power storage.

To define Photovoltaics, or PV, it is basically a procedure in which energy from light is absorbed in materials and then directly transferred to electrons, leading in an electric current. Research advances over the years, particularly those involving easily available siliconbased materials, have made this a gradually cheap solar technology. It is also now the most popular. The simplest PV configuration has immobile solar panels, slightly tilted relative to the ground and facing northwards towards the midday sun. An example is the Droogfontein Plant near Kimberley in South Africa's Northern Cape province. Panel rows are placed in a way to ensure that each panel does not shade the one behind it.

Big Solar Initiatives for Namibia
This country is best described universally for its vast natural resources like uranium and diamonds. The country is also known for its beautiful sceneries like the Namib Desert and the Fish River Canyon along with its well admired protected areas like the Etosha National Park. In 2016, Namibia could get known better for more than just its resources and landscapes.

This can be brought about if the country sees to it that the planned solar (Photovoltaic (PV)) projects are recognized. In a press statement on the power supply situation in Namibia, Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze proclaimed that there are a number of PV projects lined up to produce a total of 70MW, which are embodied as licences issued by the Electricity Control Board (ECB) to independent power producers (IPPs). Read More.....


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