Community perspective on
Rural Electrification in
South Africa
Electrification Indaba – Durban,
South Africa
15th March 2012
Alwyn Smith
Southern African Alternative
Energy Association (SAAEA)
We are irreversibly dependent on electricity
Increased demand and use of appliances, cell phones, pc’s, info, health.
. From a novelty to a necessity
. New dispensation and population increase
. Shortage of logistics and funds for grid connections
. Climate change mitigation
. Increasing interest in decentralised generation and
distribution through mini grids
The Alternative Solution
Standalone mini-grids that generate electricity
from renewable energy resources in rural areas.
Solar, Wind, Biogas, Biomass, Hydro, Diesel
Tsumkwe (Namibia)
Energy Project
200 kilowatt solar power system
Solar/Diesel Hybrid system
Community based model. In this case, the
community becomes the owne
r and operator of the system and provides
maintenance, tariff collection, and management
Private sector operator. In private sector led
systems, a private actor establishes the mini-grid
Hybrid business model. This approach combines
different aspects of the approaches above in
order to maximise effectiveness and efficiency.
Rapid deployment
Always ready for converting to hybrid, connecting and feeding
into the main grid
Revenue remains in community control
Skills transfer, training and employment opportunities
Community ownership ensures good security and maintenance
Improved environmental performance in terms of energy
efficiency and carbon emissions.
. Facilitate local research to develop a unique mini
grid system based on proven international models.
. Show some interest and support alternative energy
Solar Lanterns/Chargers
Small Solar Systems
.Great Solutions start on a small scale !
Thank you.......
Alwyn Smith
[email protected]