Solar Wind/Energy Hubs
‘This place was dark, so dark, anything can happen at night, the people’s houses were dark and businesses couldn’t do work after night…I now have light for my small children to study, I am much more comfortable’ – Gertrude Oleche, farmer in Lwanda Rombo, Kenya.
What is Solar/Wind
A solar/wind system is a system in which wind turbines and solar cells work together to ensure that a community has enough power to meet its needs.
Where is it appropriate?
Wind solar systems are ideal for locations where wind and sunshine are both plentiful sources of energy, but neither can be relied on all the time.
Why is it innovative?
- The hybrid system is more reliable than either solar panels or wind turbines on their own, as the solar panels can generate energy even when it is not windy, and vice versa.
- This means the system can be used to power appliances that need to run constantly, such as fridges and freezers. Fridges and freezers are essential for preserving medical supplies and produce.
- Solar panels can be used to charge lights during the day, when extra light is not needed. Those lights can then be used at night to keep businesses open and help with security.
- The system can be used to pump water, allowing farmers to vary their range of crops.
Where have we used them?
We have successfully installed wind-solar systems in Cuajinicuil, Nicaragua, Mipandi, Mozambique, and Songambele, Tanzania, where they power information and education centres, irrigate fields and supply households with energy. Following these successes, we are installing wind/solar systems in a range of communities on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya.
‘It’s an extremely efficient way of irrigating ALL YEAR round. The local dry season lasts for 6 months of the year (to add to the problems, the rain is late coming this year), but the pump will mean they will be able to go from producing 1 crop a year, to 2 or maybe 3. Providing more food, saving time and expense, and making a profit through sales.’ – Gethin Jones points to the wind turbine that will help to irrigate this dry land in Lwanda Rombo, Kenya.
Our RESOLVE project to install wind/solar systems in energy-poor fishing communities on the shores of Lake Victoria is proudly sponsored by Comic Relief.