AFREPREN/FWD - Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa Website
PROCEEDINGS OF THE UNESCO-AFREPREN/FWD SOLAR TRAINING WORKSHOP
KAREKEZI, TIMOTHY RANJA &
& ALBERT WAUDO
has substantial solar potential but available estimates of energy use in
sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) indicate limited use of modern solar energy
technologies. In 1990, the World
Energy Congress, estimated that excluding large-scale hydro, modern renewable
sources of energy accounted for less than 2% of the regionís primary energy
demand. Modern solar energy would
probably account for a fraction of the 2% that is currently attributed to modern
access to sufficient levels of modern energy services is one of the key problems
Access to electricity in the region in 1990 was 38% and 8% in urban and
rural areas respectively. This is low compared to an average of 76% and 33% for urban
and rural areas respectively in developing countries. In Mali, only 4% of the population have access to
electricity. In Ethiopia and Botswana, only 1% and 3%, respectively, of the
rural population have access to electricity.
A more worrying statistic is that the growth rate of household
connections is lower than the population and household growth rate, indicating
that the absolute proportion of the population without electricity is
increasing. Until the late 1980s,
only seven countries had an installed capacity exceeding 1 gigawatt and only
eight countries in 1991 consumed more than 1 TWh per annum.
the foreseeable future, connection to the national electric grid for many rural
eastern and southern Africa communities is unlikely to occur because of the
difficult and distant terrain that has to be traversed by main grid distribution
networks. This is compounded by low
populations living in scattered homesteads.
a result of the persistently poor performance of centralised power systems and
patent inability to extend electricity to rural households, many energy analysts
perceive decentralised rural electrification options such as solar photovoltaics
(PV) as the most feasible options for bringing the benefits of modern
energy services to the large majority of rural inhabitants.
A survey undertaken in the SADC region indicated a large market potential
for PV systems ranging from 72 MWp for the business-as-usual scenario to 242 MWp
for a pro-active scenario in which electrification programmes are pursued
recently completed Regional RETs Study by AFREPREN/FWD-SEI recommended the
initiation of long-term renewable energy training and capacity building
programmes to overcome the barriers facing the dissemination of solar PV
technology in the region. The World
Solar Programme (WSP), a UNESCO initiative aims at promoting and harmonizing
cooperation in renewable energy training
and research; and, demonstrating how wide-scale use of solar energy is
cost-effective and rapid option for developing countries.
Within the context of the above initiatives, UNESCO and
AFREPREN/FWD organised a RETs/Solar training workshop for African rural
development project officers and managers.
The workshop focussed largely
on PV and solar water heaters for
use mainly in the rural household market.
7th-10th September, 1998, AFREPREN/FWD in conjunction with UNESCO conducted a
Solar Energy Training Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya as part of a joint regional
study on RETs Applied Research and Training for Africa.
The subject Workshop brought together a wide range of participants that
included, field technicians, manufacturers, Government officials,
representatives of NGOs and credit/finance agencies, and to a lesser extent
researchers and field extension workers.
The five-day Workshop, which included two field visits, covered the following:
to the Workshop were drawn from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar, South
Africa and Rwanda.
Workshop identified the following as key priority issues for Applied Research on
photovoltaics (PVs) and solar water heaters (SWHs):
i. Training on low cost assembly and manufacturing techniques
ii. Compilation of a market assessment report and development of locally made and cheap solar pathfinders
iii. Compilation of best regional
practices/Ethics manual for system sizing and specification
iv. Compilation of case examples of experiences of country testing centres for solar energy technologies.
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