Local energy provision in Bangladesh

In a box earlier in the chapter on page 337, I outlined the components of a strategy for energy provision, one of which emphasised the value of local and distributed sources of energy as opposed to centralised sources in large units serving large grid networks.

An example of local provision is Grameen Shakti (meaning Rural Power) in Bangladesh - a subsidiary of Professor Yunus's famed Grameen Bank - that has developed an affordable solar home system (Figure 11.19) offered to rural communities through a soft credit facility.54 From a small beginning in 1997, Grameen Shakti now powers over 135 000 homes. A biogas system is now also being offered, using poultry waste and cow dung to produce gas for cooking, ranging in cost from $US200 to $US1400 depending on its size - the larger one being appropriate for a cluster of homes. Training for local people who can be employed as technicians for installation, maintenance and operation of the systems is also provided. The availability of lighting and local energy is providing new business opportunities.

The availability of carbon credits through the Clean Development Mechanism is enabling the cost to be reduced bringing it within the range of some of the poorest people. Their aim is to have 1 million solar home systems and 1 million biogas systems by 2015.

Light

Light

Figure 11.19 A simple 'solar home system' now being marketed in many countries in Africa, Asia and South America for a cost of a few hundred US dollars. An array of 36 solar cells, covering an area of 60 cm x 60 cm, provides around 40 W of peak power. This is sufficient to charge a car battery that can power fluorescent or LED lights, a few hours of radio and up to one hour of television per day. With more restricted use of these devices or with a larger solar array, a small refrigerator can be added to the system.

Figure 11.19 A simple 'solar home system' now being marketed in many countries in Africa, Asia and South America for a cost of a few hundred US dollars. An array of 36 solar cells, covering an area of 60 cm x 60 cm, provides around 40 W of peak power. This is sufficient to charge a car battery that can power fluorescent or LED lights, a few hours of radio and up to one hour of television per day. With more restricted use of these devices or with a larger solar array, a small refrigerator can be added to the system.

lanterns' were installed in Asia, Africa and South American countries.53 Solar home systems provide typically 15-100 W from a solar array (Figure 11.19) and cost in the range of $US200-1200. Smaller 'solar lanterns' (typically 10 W) provide lighting only. Larger installations are required for public buildings. For instance small hospitals can benefit from a PV power source as small as 1-2 kW that, backed by batteries, can provide for lighting, refrigeration for vaccines, autoclave sterilisation, pumping for hot water (produced through a solar-thermal system) and radio. Many thousands of water pumps are now powered by solar PV and thousands of communities receive drinking water from solar-PV-powered purifiers/pumps. The potential for further growth and development of solar systems is clearly very large. For instance, mini-electrical grids powered by a combination of solar PV, wind, biomass and diesel are beginning to emerge especially in the remoter parts of China and India.

The total installed world capacity of PV grew from about 500 MW peak in 1998 to about 6000 MW peak in 2006, an increase of over 30% per year. With that rate of continued growth in both PV and CSP it should be possible to more than meet the projected growth of the contribution of solar energy to world energy supply by at least 1000-fold from today's levels to around 11% of global electricity production by 2050, as in the IEA BLUE Map scenario. In the short term, increased development of local installations is likely to have priority; later, with the expectation of a significant cost reduction (Figure 11.18), penetration into large-scale electricity generation will become more possible. Eventually, because of its simplicity, convenience and cleanliness, it is expected that electricity from solar PV sources will become one of the largest - if not the largest - of the world's energy sources.

Solar Power Sensation V2

Solar Power Sensation V2

This is a product all about solar power. Within this product you will get 24 videos, 5 guides, reviews and much more. This product is great for affiliate marketers who is trying to market products all about alternative energy.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment