Across sub-Saharan Africa, 620 million people — 60 percent of the region’s population — lack access to electricity, according to the African Development Bank. As this infographic reveals, the current picture of electrical generation in the region includes substantial variation in grid-based capacity and a diverse mix of energy sources. As reported by Tom Jackson in Ensia recently, “The electrification of Africa is a process that is ongoing, with the results set to be impressive.”
As renewable electricity is added to the grid, are power markets misfiring?
When increasing megawatt-hours of variable solar and wind energy began coursing through the grid, the initial concern was an operational one—could grid reliability be maintained. But it turns out those megawatt-hours are creating market challenges, as well. What needs to be done to right the markets? Travis Kavulla, vice chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission, and Albert Cheung, head of analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, have each taken a stab at answering that question in recent essays. I...
Optimizing Wind and Solar Power in Africa
Editor`s Note: The following is a news release authored by Julie Chao and issued by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on April 5, 2017 To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally...
Solar Powered Light Towers for Remote Areas
Solar powered light towers can be installed in remote locations to support industrial operations, emergency services in disaster zones and exploratory excursions. The portable units are a viable option for businesses and groups that engage in activities in far-flung areas, because they do not rely on the grid for electrical power and limited fuel sources, such as gasoline or propane. Decreasing Installation and Operational Costs The greatest benefit of using solar powered light towers is the reduction of...
How big is the distributed energy opportunity for water and wastewater utilities?
Energy costs for water utilities are large, and growing Energy is a significant cost for many water utilities, and costs are growing as more energy-intensive forms of water supply, including desalination, are being used. Energy is typically the second-largest utility budget item in developed countries, after labour. In many developing countries, energy can account for 70% or even more, of annual costs. But water and wastewater utilities can generate and export energy – in multiple forms. Water utilities...
Study: Climate change could overwhelm U.S. electrical grid
Climbing temperatures associated with global warming could wreak havoc on the U.S. electrical grid, according to a new study on the economic and social costs of climate change. Published last week in the scientific journal Proceedings by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, and University of Michigan, the study says the country will need to spend at least $180 billion on the electrical grid by the end of the century to cope with peak consumption caused by rising temperatures. Because...