Microgrids for developing world need to enable ‘productive’ electricity use
Electrification of remote areas of the developing world using solar, storage and microgrids can and should go further than just providing basics like lamps and phone chargers.
That was a view expressed by Busso von Bismarck, founder, manager and head of business development at Qinous, a provider of “smart” energy storage solutions based around microgrids. The company, working with lithium-ion batteries from Samsung SDI, has executed both on-grid C&I (commercial and industrial) projects in the developed world and fully-formed microgrids and diesel replacement projects in Africa, Haiti and elsewhere.
Von Bismarck was speaking to Energy-Storage.News at the Intersolar Europe / ees Europe show yesterday. He said Qinous has installed nearly 10MWh of systems, including a microgrid for a village in Tanzania which previously had no access to electricity at all. That system was commissioned by a local utility, with electricity sold to villagers.
Through the years, outreach work with rural communities has seen charities donate solar lamps to reduce kerosene use, or solar phone chargers which are rented to villagers. While acknowledging that this could be vital work in itself, von Bismarck said that it was important to go further – and advances in technology now made that both feasible and often cost-effective.
“That’s the great thing about our technology and about microgrids in general. Our systems are three-phase, full productive use electricity so you can connect pretty much anything to the microgrid,” von Bismarck said.