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Empowering Rural Electrification With Solar Funding
Rural communities in developing countries lack access to modern energy. World Bank funding through governments and local rural banks creates a better network of access to people in need of loans to purchase renewable energy systems.
Despite advances in technology and reductions in the cost per watt of peak solar systems, the disposable income of rural communities does not allow them to purchase these systems. On the other hand, companies selling renewable energy did not have the capacity to lend to their customers as these companies faced limited cash flow problems. These companies also lack debt recovery mechanisms to ensure proper payment for installed systems. As a result, rural electrification was not possible.
Now people in rural communities can go to their local banks or village micro credit banks, apply for solar loans and prepare a payment plan suitable for their personal income, which can be easily verified by staff of micro finance institutions. The microfinance institution will then sign an agreement with the government’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the vending company. A microfinance institution will place an order with a vending company for the total system required by its members. And the vending company will proceed to supply and install solar systems for identified customers.
3 Roles of Parties
1. REA, to ensure the quality of systems supplied by the vendor and to conduct energy audits on each system and grant government subsidy to the vending company on successful completion of the work.
2. SACCO, to identify end user customers who need solar systems, determine their loan repayment capacity, extend the loan term and ensure they get quality solar systems. To identify the right solar sales companies.
3. Solar Vending Company to ensure quality supply of solar system, install it and see that it is in proper working condition and collect payment and subsidy from Government after successful installation.
The rural community will be served by Solar Home System (SHS). But each SACCO can have an off-grid renewable village power supply system, which can supply the entire village.
Such a system can have the following advantages.
1. Community projects like water pumping, community hall, tele-centre, health clinic, internet cafe etc.
2. If the renewable energy system is close to the grid the excess electricity is sold to the national grid.
3. Better security for power supply
4. Small factories and processing equipment for the benefit of the village and as money generating activities.
5. Bio fuel generator, Bio fuel cooking stove. Making soap from kandil and glycerol will encourage people to grow Jatropha as a cash biofuel crop.
Bio-Fuel Production – Using Jatropha The Next Generation Sustainable Fuel.
What is bio-diesel?
As the volatile Middle East affects global oil supplies, countries like Uganda are choking on the high cost of oil imports. Crude fossil oil prices have touched $100 and with the erratic and rising dollar rate (the high dollar rate last month translated this to Sh230, 000 per barrel) and is expected to reach $150 (Sh345, 000) within two years.
Ever-rising and erratic oil prices and a volatile dollar are prompting many countries to look for alternatives to achieve energy independence. This has intensified research and promoted the development of biofuels as the most reliable energy alternative.
The production of bio-diesel from Jatropha carcass, commonly known as ‘Ekiluwa’, has several advantages. Ekilowa is well known in Uganda and is commonly used as a support for vanilla vines and sometimes as a hedge.
Jatropha, a drought-resistant perennial crop with a 40-plus-year life span, is a member of the Europhobias family. Its seeds can yield about 37% inedible oil.
One kg of seeds produces 200 ml of oil. Each tree can initially bear 1.5 kg of seeds per year and as it grows it can produce up to 6 kg. On 1 acre of land you can plant 1000 Jatropha trees at 2 meter spacing.
The global bio-diesel market is projected to reach 37 billion gallons by 2016, growing at an average annual rate of 42%.
Lankveld said developing biofuels provides the most immediate and feasible response for emerging economies in the tropics to create and supply global energy markets and reduce carbon dioxide emissions as part of the fight against climate change.
Our company has set up a demonstration project on the shores of Lake Victoria. It will provide renewable energy products and process biofuels.
The company will not depend on new plantations for raw materials. It will instead start by buying jatropha nuts available from existing plants, with the intention of collecting about 10,000 kg of seeds this year from vanilla farmers in the districts of Mukono, Kayunga, Jinja, Iganga, Kamuli and Bugiri. To extract 3,300 liters of oil… the company will plant about 40 hectares (about 60,000 trees) of jatropha on the new land we have acquired.
The project will also provide farmers with high quality Jatropha seeds to increase crop production in the future. Instead of large plantations, the initiative is promoting jatropha as a means of diversification for farmers, promoting its integration with millet, sorghum or maize, and reviving those who abandoned it due to disappointment in the vanilla market and using it as fence material. for their farm.
We believe in small-scale, decentralized bio-diesel processing plants, where jatropha nuts are produced locally to reduce transportation. We believe that the sale of vegetable oil stoves will encourage local farmers to grow jatropha and other oil crops primarily as a source of fuel for their kitchen cooking and later as a commercial cash crop venture. We will also sell them small oil hand mills so that they can extract their own oil for domestic consumption.
First test run of Uganda Electronics and Computer Industry Ltd., off-grid renewable energy and biodiesel plants scheduled for November 2010. However since October we have been conducting sensitization seminars in 3 districts, seed collection, stove selling and oil processing.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food recently recommended jatropha as a biofuel crop for developing countries. Jatropha was recommended because of its inedible oil content, gestation period and ability to grow in poor soils.
Developing countries need to invest in biofuel production because climate change is likely to change the world’s energy policies for the worst.
Uganda can excel in bio-diesel production as the majority of people derive their income from agriculture. Jatropha offers enormous potential to alleviate poverty and improve health. A farmer can earn up to $250 (sh427, 500) annually from a 1km hedge of jatropha.
Long term potential
Speaking of the long-term potential of bio-diesel, the reality of bio-diesel markets, a successful bio-diesel business plan starts with an effective feedstock strategy from which the process design flows. To make bio-diesel a long-term business opportunity, the critical issue of availability of the right feedstock at the right price needs to be addressed.
Jatropha will be a great source of biofuel and key to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Jatropha can provide significant environmental benefits. It could replace jet fuel and fossil fuels from petroleum companies without interfering with food crops or clearing forests. The good thing about jatropha is that you are creating a bush that lives and does its job for a long time. Producing oil removes a lot of carbon from the atmosphere. Jatropha is a multi-purpose crop to address soil degradation, desertification and deforestation, which can be used for diesel replacement, cooking fuel wood and bio-energy for soap production and climate protection and therefore deserves special attention. Jatropha can help increase rural income, self-sustainability and poverty alleviation.
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