If you have ever been to an African country, this might have happened to you “Power cut!
If you are lucky enough to have one, however, a generator will kick in within a few seconds. In most cases, it will be a diesel generator that restores power. Diesel generators and diesel plants are still widely used in sub-Saharan Africa. This is not ideal, but the stability of the power grid is not yet consistently guaranteed in many African countries. Which is why the alternative would be no electricity at all.
Our team has also repeatedly experienced how widespread diesel generators are in Africa. This time in Chad. On invitation of the government of Chad we flew to the country a few weeks ago to present our sustainable energy solutions to his Excellency Idriss Déby (President of Chad).
Chad currently runs 50 diesel generators with a total capacity of 300 megawatts. The oldest plants date back to colonial times and some are still in operation today. Chad’s entire base load runs on diesel. To put this into perspective, Chad is about three times the size of Germany.
During our stay in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, we had the opportunity to see a diesel power plant on site. It was built in 2012 and has been in operation ever since. During the tour, we learned that N’Djamena alone currently uses 400,000 liters of diesel per day to produce about 80 MW of electricity for the entire city.
For us, this was a kind of déjà vu: our founding couple Torsten and Aida Schreiber visited a 20-megawatt diesel power plant in Mali’s capital Bamako in 2014. The power plant they visited at the time, along with two other diesel power plants, is responsible for base load control in Mali’s capital Bamako, which is home to millions of people. It does not burn as much diesel as the power plant in N’Djamena, but with a daily consumption of 170,000 liters and an efficiency of just over ten percent, the sight was incomprehensible at the time and the decision to found Africa GreenTec was made.
Compared to Germany, the sun shines clearly in the sky for about twice as many hours per year in Chad and Mali. Given this enormous potential for solar energy, the fact that such an enormous amount of diesel is burned for electricity in these countries is almost grotesque. Our solar containers are therefore not equipped with diesel generators as a backup, but are pure photovoltaic + battery solutions. The energy production is sufficient during the day to constantly supply an entirevillage with electricity and at the same time store so much energy that tools and lights can still be used in the evening hours.
Of course the energy supply in African countries is complex. Especially in villages away from the national power grid, smaller diesel generators are often used by the inhabitants because they have no alternative. That is why it is all the more important to us to offer people living in smaller towns or villages an alternative to diesel generators. Through Africa GreenTec, theyhave the opportunity to use electricity that firstly does not harm our planet and secondly is more reliable than conventional diesel generators. As we have discovered after talking to our current customers, conventional diesel generators often fail. This causes discontent, unsteady business and high costs for repairs and replacements.
In our #Impactstories, we regularly report on how our customers in the villages where we are active use sustainable electricity. Noumoukossa Bagayoko also relied on diesel generators for his daily work as a blacksmith before purchasing electricity from Africa GreenTec.
Africa GreenTec is growing with you! We empower people to achieve more self-determination and growth through sustainable energy solutions. Join us!