AFREPREN/FWD - Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa Website
STATUS OF SOLAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IN LESOTHO
This report on status of Photovoltaics (PV) and Solar
Water Heaters (SWH) in Lesotho is a result of a research work conducted in
Lesotho by a local researcher for African Energy Policy Research
Network/Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination (AFREPREN/FWD).
The study addresses the issue of solar energy resources
in Lesotho. It shows the availability of solar energy especially in the mountain
areas of Lesotho, where one would expect not very much sun shine but shadows,
and also the survival of the PV panels and SWH in the climatic conditions of
Lesotho which are very much different from those of the rest of Africa.
The study further shows the solar energy institutions
of Lesotho. These institutions do not particularly focus on solar energy only,
but they also look into other sources of energy that are available in the
country. There are also some independent bodies that deal with solar energy
which the report has also dealt with.
The report also represents the status of both PV and
SWH dissemination in Lesotho. Most of the people in the country especially in
the rural areas do not afford the expenses of LEC electricity connection,
therefore they have an option of using solar systems which are less expensive as
compared to the electricity from the national grid. Solar energy is their best
second choice most especially because the traditional fuel resources are very
Although SWH are only meant for those people who are
rather very wealthy and who only use solar to minimize their bills on
electricity, SWH are still disseminated in the country either by an informal or
formal discussion by those who use them or by any other means.
The report shows the historical background of
dissemination of both PV and SWH. The past and present performance and it
also touches on the future prospects. It shows that there is potential for a
very bright future if only the local people can be made aware of the existence
of these technologies.
Basotho are not very wealthy people and they are not so
poor either. There are many who can afford to pay for the services of these
technologies, it is only that these technologies are not known to them. Their
dissemination seem to be only in district towns where electricity is the first
choice of energy and is very much available, and some coal and other means of
energy are also available, so the choice is very wide.
The report finally gives the references and the addresses of solar institutions in Lesotho especially of those that the researcher got some secondary information from in the process of writing this report.
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