US students take power to Tanzanian villages
DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - July 19, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
A group of US students will travel to Tanzania next month to install solar energy syatems at a number of village schools and hospitals.
The students, from Oregon Institute of Technology(Oregon Tech), will travel to Tanzania next month to join their professor, Dr. Slobodan Petrovic, where they will install solar energy systems for schools and hospitals. The trip is part of Oregon Tech's BS in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE) degree program.
After volunteering in Tanzania in 2009, Dr. Petrovic teamed up with students from Oregon Tech's Department of Electrical Engineering & Renewable Energy (EERE) in Portland to help build a sustainable new model for changing the energy outlook in Africa, and provide hands-on experience in the design and installation of renewable energy technology.
"What I always say is that we give these people the gift of light and the gift of communication," Dr. Petrovic says.
Each year since 2010, another batch of 10 students travels to Tanzania to continue Oregon Tech's work providing energy for schools, hospitals and orphanages. This year the students will also take eight laptops allowing villages access to the internet as connections allow.
For the first time this trip, the group will revisit past sites to install equipment invented by last year's seniors that allow monitoring of the solar systems online. The data will allow Dr. Petrovic to ensure the installations stay working.
The humanitarian work also is made possible by donations from Hillsboro-based SolarWorld. SolarWorld has donated 30 panels to the program, and is invested in continuing to help it grow.
"This is about more than simply installing solar panels; it's about facilitating access to education, communications, medical services and clean, safe drinking water," says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America.
The initial inspiration for the program came about during Dr. Petrovic's 2009 trip to Tanzania, when a terrible accident changed his perspective forever. "There was a girl in the dormitory in one of the schools using a candle hidden under her blanket so she could read," Dr. Petrovic says. "She fell asleep, and her blanket caught fire. Thirteen girls died. I want to prevent these tragedies."
In addition to installing solar panels, this year Dr. Petrovic and his students will build a large solar water pumping project to provide drinking water for a village of 3,000 people on Lake Nyasa.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Kenya Power eyes fibreglass poles to lower electricity transmission costsKenya Power plans to roll-out fibreglass poles in place of wooden poles, to reduce the cost of maintenance. Read More
MWH Global names Ethiopia Country ManagerMWH Global has hired Moghes Ayalew Mekonen as the country manager for its operations in Ethiopia. Read More
Can technology help keep the lights on in Africa?By using modern ICT tools smartly, energy utilities could be keeping the lights on, says Ashley Boag, Head: Energy and Natural Resources at SAP Africa. Read More
Samsung hands over Digital Village in SASamsung Electronics has officially handed over a Digital Village at Cosmo City in South Africa, to provide the community with much-needed education and health services. Read More
World Bank approves DRC hydropower grantThe World Bank has approved a $73.1 million grant to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the Inga 3 Basse Chute (BC) and Mid-size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance Project. Read More
$870m financing agreements signed for biggest clean energy project in AfricaThe Lake Turkana Wind Power Project meant to add an existing 300MW of reliable, low cost wind energy to the national grid of Kenya reached a critical milestone following the signing of the financial agreements in Nairobi, Kenya. Read More
SEFA, partners launch clean energy competitionThe Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa is co-organising the Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFRICEF-3) Business Plan Competition to identify and nurture companies with green ambitions in Africa, and serve as a conduit between them and financiers. Read More
Education summit to focus on infrastructureThe West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) conference 2014, takes place in Lome, Togo, this week. Read More
Samsung solar powered internet school for DRCA Solar Powered Internet School handed over in Kinshasa is expected to improve learning and education through the use of ICTs. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSFurther African expansion for Phoenix
Phoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East ...