African solar power

Seizing Solar Power

African solar power

Across Latin America the impact of poverty and climate change is bringing greater stress to rural communities.

In arid northern Argentina, people have only one source of fuel – wood. It is often scrawny bushes that are increasingly hard to find.

But the region also has a huge untapped resource – solar radiation – and Virginia Bauso’s mission is to harness its potential and promote solar energy as the main power source for entire villages: from kitchens and ovens to heating, lighting, hot water and even a public phone.

She roams the desert spreading innovative technology, including a “kiosk” she invented that cooks food using the sun’s rays. The community of Misa Rumi is now almost 100 percent solar-functional. Another village recently built a solar quinoa dryer, creating new opportunities for employment.


sunedison in brazil

SunEdison Announces Expansion Plans In Brazil

sunedison in brazil
Sun rising on Christ the Redeemer at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image Credit: Charlie Phillips (CC 2.0)

SunEdison and Brazil-based Renova Energia have come together for a joint venture to build, own, and operate 1 gigawatt (GW) capacity of utility-scale PV, which will supply power to the Brazilian regulated electricity market. Both the companies will share a 50–50 stake in the JV. The venture will come up with four utility-scale solar power plants in Bahia State (Brazil) by 2017.

Renova is the largest renewable power generation company in Brazil (by installed capacity). It was among the winners in Brazil’s first auction for PV projects and won contracts for 107 MW capacity.

SunEdison will invest another $30 million in a 140 MW per year solar panel factory in Brazil, which is expected to start operations by 2016. The factory will make PV modules and tracking systems, possibly with a focus on the Brazilian domestic market.


Yingli powers Bolivia’s first solar power plant

Yingli Green Energy subsidiary Yingli Spain has supplied more than 5 MW of solar panels for Bolivia’s first solar power plant.

Isotron, a subsidiary of Spanish energy company Isastur and a global PV project developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services provider, installed more than 17,000 solar panels for the plant — Bolvia’s largest solar installation and one of the world’s largest storage-equipped hybrid PV-diesel projects. Isotron is one of Yingli Spain’s long-term strategic partners.

Occupying 15 hectares (37 acres) of land near the remote city of Cobija in the state of Pando, the 5 MW plant will supply energy to more than 49,000 people when completed. Cobija has until now relied on diesel power generation because it is not connected to Bolivia’s national utility grid. Empresa Electrica de Guaracachi S.A (EGSA), a subsidiary of national electric company Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ENDE), carried out preliminary studies and basic engineering for the project.

Chile will lead Latin America in renewable energy, says president

First-SolarThe president of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet said the country will aim to become a leader in renewable energy.

Speaking during a ceremony for First Solar’s 141MW Luz del Norte Solar Power Plant in the Atacama Desert, Bachelet said: “Chile is in a position to be a leader in renewable energy in the Southern Cone, and in the Atacama region we are doing so.”

The US thin-film company First Solar project follows in line with the16 other solar projects approved by the Chilean government last year in an effort to have 20% of the country’s energy produced by non-conventional renewable energies by 2025.