Solar energy options for the Philippines

With the feed-in-tariff rates for renewable energy do not look attractive enough for private sector generators to do this in the Philippines, the world marches on with the various other approaches to use solar energy for those who don’t have it. Read about 3 of them below.

From CleanTechies.Com

Solar Power in Poor Rural Areas

Environmental News NetworkPublished on Date March 9th, 2012 by Environmental News Network


Solar power works best of course where the sun is brightest. However, another major factor is the capital cost for a solar installation. If your are poor, you cannot get started easily. One of the big opportunities positive climate action has presented the developing world is the chance to leapfrog a generation of energy technology straight into clean, green generationwithout the intervening capital intensive and dirtier aspects of energy technology. A British company thinks it has a potential and intriguing solution. Cambridge-based Eight19, named after the eight minutes and 19 seconds it takes light form the sun to reach earth, has developed this technology, and the business plan to tackle these challenges.

Eight19 is developing a novel printed plastic solar cell technology based on organic semiconductor materials.

Organic semiconductors originate from abundant and therefore potentially low cost materials. Their strong light absorption (100 times stronger than silicon), the tunability of the absorption spectrum by chemical synthesis and their deposition from solution under ambient condition resulting in an ultra-thin solar absorber makes them a highly promising materials class for large scale electrical solar power generation. The unique properties of organic semiconductors in contrast to inorganic semiconductors like silicon allow for the development of low cost, highly flexible and low weight solar modules

Customers can pay an up-front fee of $10 for a 3W solar panel, battery, two LED lamps, a phone charging unit and a module that enables them to purchase electricity using their mobile phone.

“In Kenya for example we provide solar power for around $1 a week,” says Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO, Eight19.

“They tell us they are saving about $2 a week on kerosene and a further $1-1.5 on the electricity that they would have to spend on putting electricity into their mobile phones.”

“The plastic solar cells will reduce the overall cost of the installation. If you put solar cells on your roof in the UK probably half the cost is for the framing, wiring, the metalwork and everything else that goes around the solar panels,” claims Bransfield-Garth.

“You can’t put a 30kg solar panel onto the traditional thatched roof of a home in Malawi. With the plastic film, you can just literally stick it onto the roof.”

There are over a 1 billion people without or with minimal electricity in the world according Garth, 300 million or so which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

This part of the world is where Eight19 will concentrate its efforts. Since its first install in Kenya in September, 2011 the company’s IndiGo system is now in Malawi, Zambia and South Sudan as well.

“We thought avoiding Kerosene fumes would be a really big driver for these sorts of things. Kerosene fumes kill 1.5 million people a year, that’s more than malaria. But in reality, if you have been brought up with kerosene fumes for ever, you have a slightly different view on that sort of thing.” Kerosene is a common means of lighting in this area of the world. It is used because of its relative low cost.

In fact, the ability to charge mobile phones, is the biggest advantage to those who use the IndiGo system, their customers have said.

Customers will on average take a couple of years to pay for the full cost of their system in these poor areas of the world.

“We’re running on commercial terms but it’s not our job to go and exploit some of the poorest people in the world. That’s why we have this upgrade initiative. We could charge a $1 a week indefinitely on the basis that that is half what they were paying for kerosene,” says Bransfield-Garth.

At this stage customers can either buy the 3W set-up outright or they can upgrade to a larger 10W system that supports an additional two lights and a radio.

The companies energy plans ends with a 80W system capable of running four lights, radio, TV, sewing machine plus the invaluable phone charging.

For further information: or

Article appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.

LuminAID, the Inflatable Solar Light

EnergyRefuge.comPublished on Date January 10th, 2012 by

People developing solar energylights have all sorts of ideas, and sometimes they are very swell …Take the case of the LuminAID Light. It’s an inflatable nifty number, that fully charges with four to six hours of solarexposure.

The light was designed for disaster zones. Electricity is one of the first vital services affected by catastrophe and current solar power solutions are expensive and difficult to manufacture and transport. The LuminAID solar light addresses these issues by providing a useful and portable form of light for disaster victims.

They replace kerosene lamps, which are toxic and a safety hazard, besides making a dent of up to 30% on the income of those who need it. As solar technology becomes better and more portable, hopefully the stinky kerosene lamp will be a thing of a fossil fuel past.

LuminAID is the brainchild of Anna Stork, an architect whose previous jobs include working for the Department of Defense developing technologies to help soldiers survive in remote locations, and Andrea Sheshta, an architect and former employee at Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects in New York.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

Solar, Not Kerosene, Is What the World Needs

EnergyRefuge.comPublished on Date August 28th, 2012 by

Like in cartoons, sometimes a brilliant idea appears in the shape of a light bulb. This is because solar lights are some of the most brilliant ideas being developed to make the world a more sustainable place and to promote inclusion for those people living in remote areas.

Around two billion people in the world rely on burning biomass for cooking and power and a great portion of that live in off-grid regions. There’s a great opportunity there to bring alternative energy such as solar to those people, as we have seen in previous articles. And sometimes an idea can be really simple and take the shape of light bulb.

Nokero’s N200 solar powered LED lamp light bulb is one of them. Nokero is a short for no kerosene, in reference to the dirty fuel that so many people rely on. The company was founded in 2010 by American inventor Steve Katsaros. From his base in Denver he works on solar LED design innovation and orchestrates the business development, marketing and public relations of the company. The Hong Kong office deals with manufacturing, shipping and logistics.

Nokero’s provides cheap products (prices range between $10 and $20). Besides lights, it also makes mobile phone chargers and battery chargers. The company also supports Child Fund International, helping children whose education and potential is hampered by lack of electricity.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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