BREAKING BARRIERS, DEFYING THE ODDS TO REACH THE MOST DEPRIVED WITH LIGHTING SOLUTIONS – CEESD TO PROVIDE SOLAR SOLUTIONS IN OFF-GRID RURAL AND ISLAND COMMUNITIES IN GHANA
- August 5, 2019
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Projects
Access to electricity is critical to rapid development. Villages can develop better and faster when all its sectors (residential, public service, and business) have access to electricity. The absence of electricity negatively affects quality of life in the home, reduces the variety and quantity of public services that can be delivered, and limits entrepreneurship and economic development that would allow remote communities to thrive. Despite Ghana’s success at reaching approximately 80% access to electricity, many more rural people continue to live without electricity. This phenomenon is attributable to that fact many rural villages are too far away from the electric grid to warrant the cost of grid extension, or are too small to fiscally sustain and technically manage a village-scale micro-grid.
Due to the nature of their settlements, several communities along the Volta River are permanently cut off from the national grid due to their population and distance from the nearest grid infrastructure and endure total darkness nightly,relying on kerosene and dry cell batteries for lighting needs occasionally. Further, several of these communities have been tagged as “island communities” because they can only be reached after crossing the river. Off-grid power solutions offer the best opportunities to solve their energy needs, provide relief, as well as create the impetus for infrastructural and economic development.
Partnering with Arizona State University (ASU), headquartered in Tempe, AZ USA, CEESD has secured funds from the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) under its Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge, to implement a scalable Solar Leasing Business that will provide solar systems for a monthly fee to entrepreneurs to foster entrepreneurship and economic development throughout the community. The project, being the first of its kind in Ghana, parallels the SolarCity business model in the United States.
The project will result in the deployment of renewable energy technologies, business models, management practices, and training programs to provide power to remote entrepreneurs with occupations such hair dressing, clothing mending and dress making, crafts, entertainment, petty trading, food processing, battery charging, and small-scale carpentry and laundry services.
The Solar Leasing project kicks off with a hundred-thousand-dollar grant (US$100,000) solar project in Faaso Battor, one of the off-grid community in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. By providing technology and programmatic strategies that can be semi-customized to this community, CEESD and its partners will deliver a comprehensive approach to off-grid power needs, with less equipment, training, and financing.