In 2007, ENRP awarded the Roy Family Award to the Hybrid Systems for Rural Electrification in Africa (HSREA), a collaboration among Energiebau Solarstromsysteme, a German solartechnology provider; InWEnt- Capacity Building International, Germany, a non-profit organization with expertise in human resources development, and their African colleagues at Kakute Limited, a technology training company in Tanzania; RENERG Ghana; and the Vincentian Sisters in Mbinga, Tanzania. The HSREA Project provides reliable, renewable electricity to rural African villages through a system of solar panel technology combined with modified diesel motors running on pure plant oil from the plentiful jatropha nut.
After being awarded with the Roy Family Award 2007, the project team composed of InWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany (now: GIZ - Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and Energiebau Solarstromsysteme, Cologne/Germany together with its main partner Kakute Ltd. Arusha/Tanzania intensified the capacity building activities in Ghana, Mali, and Tanzania.
It implemented training courses in Ghana, Mali, and Tanzania to enhance the local capacities for optimized jatropha cultivation. As part of the regional outreach, a special training in Tanzania was also offered for experts from Ethiopia. Besides this, two motor trainings for multi-fuel generators were carried out in Cologne/Germany to ensure proper operation of the installed hybrid-systems.
In order to underpin the relevance of jatropha in general and specially of hybrid-systems combining photovoltaic systems with refitted generators running on straight vegetable oil from the jatropha nuts, a regional “Dialogue Forum on Biofuels for Poverty Alleviation” was carried out in December 2008 in cooperation with UNEP-DTIE and FAO, bringing together representatives from the relevant ministries for rural and social development, research institutes and NGOs from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Ruanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The reason for focusing poverty alleviation on the political level was that more and more African countries were confronted with an international hype caused by the search for alternatives to fossil fuels. They experienced increasing pressure to convert arable land into plantations for export-oriented production of oil seeds – among others jatropha – without having defined their own biofuel policies. The forum therefore came up with recommendations on how to shape such policies.
Under such circumstances, the approach to use straight vegetable jatropha oil for fueling off-grid power systems in rural areas is still innovative but has also to compete with diesel generators that are cheaper in the short run than hybrid-systems, but are inefficient and extend the dependence on fossil fuels.
A promising program is now developed in Zimbabwe using the HSREA approach and its network: The NGO Environment Africa is engaged in a project working on three pillars: policy development, research and, community development. The aim of the last is to assist community groups in setting up small businesses on processing of the seed for production of oil for soap making and energy. This also involves setting up a hybrid system. Two oil milling plants in Mudzi and Mutoko districts have been developed yet. The installation of the hybrid-system is scheduled for next year.
Read More: Role of Hybrid-Systems in Rural Electrification – Experiences from pilot projects in Africa
Individuals in photo from left to right – Back Row: Marko Schmitt (Projects Worldwide, Energiebau), Bernd Wolff (Project Manager, Energiebau), Michael Funcke-Bartz (Senior Project Manager, InWent, Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme), Bernd Schleich (Managing Director, InWent)
Front Row: Livinus Manyanga (Director, Kakute, Ltd. Tanzania), Sister Kaja Peric (Vincentian Sisters from Mbinga, Tanzania), Richard Aburgi (RENERG Ghana)
Individuals in photo from left to right - Back Row: Richard Aburgi (RENERG Ghana), Michael Funcke-Bartz (Senior Project Manager, InWent), Sister Kaja Peric (Vincentian Sisters from Mbinga, Tanzania), Michael Schäfer (Managing Director, Energiebau), Livinus Manyanga (Director, Kakute, Ltd. Tanzania), Bernd Schleich (Managing Director, InWent), Professor Henry Lee (HKS)
Front Row: Ellen Roy Hertzfelder (Representative of the Roy family), Bernd Wolff (Project Manager, Energiebau), Dean David Ellwood (HKS)
Belfer Center Coverage