I'm really happy that WorldChanging Ally James at the Alternative Energy Blog is back in full-scale blogging action. Alt-Energy has become the number one place to find good energy leapfrogging stories, and today's offerings are no exception. Two more developing nations are on track to adopt renewable and alternative technology solutions for recurring energy production and distribution problems.
Tanzania, located on the east coast of Africa, is considering the use of wave and tidal power to generate electricity for the island of Zanzibar, replacing old gas turbine generators. Zanzibar currently draws about 31 megawatts of power, well within the capacity of ocean power systems. The current power generation operates at a significant loss; the coastline's strong tides and currents could make this renewable option a better economic choice.
In a longer piece, AEB links to a report on Bangladesh, which currently has one of the lowest electrification levels of any nation, only 30% of the population. The Financial Express of Bangladesh is calling for the adoption of decentralized, off-grid systems, with a focus on homegrown solar power:
Of all the options, solar energy has so far been considered the most easy and viable option. Solar energy's unique attributes of needing no fuel, high durability and reliability and being able to operate for prolonged periods without maintenance make it economical for all types of remote applications. These unique attributes also permit solar energy to be used in places where there is no grid system. [...] Different private business houses have started introducing solar thermal and photovoltaic systems in the rural areas seeing their bright prospect. [...] To popularise it, solar panels need to be manufactured locally because the panel is one of the expensive components of solar home system. Steps should be taken to encourage local investors so that they can start assembling solar panels at the initial stage and train people to make it locally in the future.
Sounds like they need a local iteration of "barefoot solar engineers."
Hi, I have been tracking renewable energy for some time and have a blog now just started at http://bioenergy.blogspot.com/ abouthte subject. At the moment I am following the development of a small scale biogas plant in the Philippines, which you can also find at http://www.habmigern2003.info/biogas/Baron-digester/Baron-digester.htm