Minigrids have the capability to operate in isolation from the national grid and have been shown to reduce the cost of, and dramatically increase the pace of, rural electrification, says Blue World Power Energy and Resources MD Gavin Carlson.
“We view minigrids as a game changer for the rapid, reliable and cost-effective electrification of rural Africa,” he told delegates attending the Africa Energy Indaba, on Tuesday.
The International Energy Agency estimates that minigrids could supply 50% of the energy required in rural areas by 2030.
Replacing diesel and other fossil fuels, with renewable energy based minigrids has further environmental and social benefits.
Carlson cited an innovative containerised minihydro solution, which integrates perfectly into offgrid and minigrid scenarios, which have a design capacity of up to 2 MW.
He noted that a single facility was capable of providing electricity to between 250 and 400 houses.
“The installation requires no dam construction and causes no environmental harm to river and other reservoir ecology. The plant is also easily controlled and monitored remotely via satellite, mobile communications network or the Internet,” he said.