Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience
Twenty years ago, people agonised that providing universal communications in Africa would exhaust the limited copper resources. Then we invented the mobile phone.
Today, people worry about the impact of a billion Africans seeking to use energy as profligately as the western world as incomes rise. Thanks to innovative technology Africa need not follow our footsteps.
We provide new low-carbon pathway to rural power. We install renewable solar panels and rechargeable batteries freeing economic growth from carbon emissions (as well as reducing imports of costly oil product – improving African balance of payments and macro-economies)
Diesel generators and kerosene lamps are amongst the least efficient ways of providing power services. Thus our solar panels displace more CO2 emissions per peak watt that installing them on on-grid solar farms.
It is a myth that solar cannot drive high power appliances and machinery (especially rotational power). A single, simple 12 volt car battery provides 6Kw of instantaneous torque to start your car and yet only stores 0.1 KWhrs. Batteries are sized to store enough energy and always have excess power capability.
Our emphasis on the business use of power in rural areas will help those communities become more resilient to climate change in a myriad of ways including:
- Reduction in CO2 emissions by displacing diesel and gasoline generators with renewable solar
- Reductions in CO2 emissions by displacing kerosene lighting with renewable solar
- Climate change will worsen the length and severity of droughts. Electricity can allow pumping and drip-irrigation of the scarce water to mitigate these effects and make the maximum use of scarce resources.
- Increasing temperatures will increase the rate of decay of farm produce and shorten the field to table “shelf-life”, increasing food wastage. Even moderate amounts of cooling (as opposed to full refrigeration) can dramatically reduce crop-wastage, improving nutrition; increasing incomes and providing higher quality and hence easier to sell produce. Small solar systems are well suited to providing these modest levels of cooling.
- Power allows improved farming practises and helps other rural business grow. Strengthening the local economy is the best and most flexible way of building in local resilience to climate change and shocks.
- Domestic SHS’s provide cost savings to households enabling them to either save money to become more resilient to climate shocks) or to invest this in better education for the children; improved medicines or starting or expanding a small business or small-holding.
- Power at a health clinic improves the standard of care and allows temperature sensitive medicines and vaccines to be stored for longer. An improved health of the community significantly adds to climate resilience. As an example, enhanced temperatures shortens the length of time for malaria parasites to develop in a mosquito, increasing its re-infection to sterile biting period and spreading the disease more rapidly. Improved health care will be needed to combat this and other diseases.
- Power in schools will improve rural school results and allow adult education in the evening. Improved education is vital to allow new agricultural practises to be disseminated to combat the effects of climate change or to allow workers to transfer their skills to new jobs as society adapts to climate change.