Monday, February 21, 2011

African sun could light world’s cities

Solar power is slowly but surely gaining
ground in South Africa and on the rest
of the continent.
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Africa’s greatest resources may no longer be diamonds and gold, but instead, its big sun-drenched skies. In coming years, the continent, known for the innovation and determination of its people, could provide enough solar energy to light up some of the world’s biggest cities.

A group of students from a girls’ college in Mauritius is showing the way. The pupils have recently developed a way of producing 14KW of clean electricity daily, and their project is touted to be the model which other nations in Africa could adopt.

The use of solar power reportedly doubled in 2010, and is expected to grow in 2011 by at least 25%. However, the developing world has been slower off the mark than Western countries to use this technology, although it would derive the most advantage from solar energy - remote regions especially.

Following the Mauritian government’s December 2010 call for the population to find alternative means of producing electricity, the students from the Hindu Girls’ College in Curepipe, Southern Mauritius, set up a three-kilowatt solar power system on the institute’s roof. This simple system provides the campus with at least 20% of the power it needs.

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