REF operations cost about 5% of the value of SolarNow sales, or a cost of EUR 2.20 per
newly connected person. REF’s activities are funded through grants from the Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the DOEN Foundation.
• Typical kerosene savings for a household of one litre per week ;
• Businesses of 200 SolarNow retailers continue to grow, and provided employment
for around 200 local technicians;
• Better quality of light gives opportunity for study, income-generation and leisure
activities. Electricity for radios, televisions and mobile phones improves
communications and access to information.
More resources available on the PPE intranet site (document library):
Details of the Kenya ToughStuff pilot project (small scale solar)
Links between food security and solar powered irrigation
2.2.2. Passive solar
Passive solar technology is widely used for heating water and cooking food. Solar
cookers and collectors concentrate the sun and convert it directly to heat. They are
useful in areas with strong sun and requirement for an alternative energy source
due to biomass fuel shortages. Several high-quality and efficient solar cookers are
available at a relatively modest cost, although cultural resistance to change and
more limited cooking practices, as well as a wider understanding of the
technologies, still remain a challenge for wider acceptance.16 These factors have
limited the penetration of solar cookers. Solar cookers and collectors are often
available through suppliers of solar PV products (see Annex 3 for more information)
on a commercial basis.
Solar dryers can dry a wide range of agricultural products for preservation. The
basic principal of a solar dryer is that air is heated by the sun in a collector, and
then passed over the produce to be dried. There are three basic designs, each with
its advantages and disadvantages: solar cabinet dryer, tent-dryer, and solar tunnel
dryer.17 Solar dryers are only useful during short periods of the year when crops
are harvested and need to be dried.
Evaporative cooling is a method of cold storage for fruits and vegetables which is
simple and does not require any external power supply. Generally, an evaporative
cooler is made of a porous material that is fed with water.18 Common designs
include the zeer pot and the static cooling chamber.
Whilst the needs for solar dryers and evaporative cooling are widespread,
commercial models are yet to prove successful. The technology is often considered
relatively expensive and of limited application. A number of NGOs are distributing
Renewable Energy to Reduce Poverty in Africa