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Monday, 5 May 2008

Obstacles to growth

A useful IMF summary paper on the Zambia electric power market and potential obstacles to growth.

3 comments:

  1. Here is a list of businesses which provide solar panels in Africa.

    Maybe one option is to begin taking government buildings and traffic lights off the grid and start using the most abundant energy around - sunlight - as a power source.

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  2. Introduction of solar panels is one of the most expensive among energy aquisition. Solar energy hardly stands as reliable option to meet large scale energy demands. 6000 MW potential within hydroelectrics seems more realistic, although the idea of manditory "brown-outs" seems reasonable for a short term solution.

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  3. Anonymous,

    Introduction of solar panels is one of the most expensive among energy aquisition. Solar energy hardly stands as reliable option to meet large scale energy demands. 6000 MW potential within hydroelectrics seems more realistic, although the idea of manditory "brown-outs" seems reasonable for a short term solution.

    You are right that right now, for all it's benefits, solar energy is still expensive.

    However, new technologies are invented all the time, and with lower costs of production, greater scales of production and takeup, prices will fall.

    For instance, check out NanoSolar technology, which is already past it's production phase.


    This isn't about expensive, slow-to-build silicon panels. Nanosolar has created a new, patented, spray-on film that can be printed on a flexible foil material, and then rolled out on any surface. Soon, the same technology will be incorporated into a new generation of roof tiles; even window coverings.

    "Solar panels have not been very popular to the American people because they've been too expensive. That's what we're changing now," says Martin Roscheisen, another of the company's co-founders.


    Nanosolar's secret sauce is just that: a patented glop of metals and nanoparticles that work together once they're exposed to sunlight, absorbing light and then producing energy. The substance is then sprayed on a durable foil by machines that look like giant newspaper printing presses. The process dramatically speeds up the manufacturing process.

    "We're trying to achieve fantastic scale," says an early Nanosolar investor, Eric Straser from Mohr Davidow Ventures. "But we're really doing it in a way that achieves a cost breakthrough at the same time."



    Also check out this article on Morocco's King Mohammed, officiating a 472MW, $400mn solar energy project.

    King Mohamed VI Launches Thermo-Solar Energy Plant in Morocco

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