Solar Panels and Batteries: A Cheap Rural Energy Source

[MUSIC] For rural communities in tropical and sub tropical latitudes, it's already the case of at least expensive way of producing electric power Is to provide what I call community solar installations

So you provide solar panels, not rooftop solar panels which is still quite expensive, but ground based solar panels on a scale big enough to provide power for the entire community And you then hope the community to that, what we call the micro-grid, a small scale low voltage grid, just running it locally And you provide some energy storage by application of lead acid batteries, old fashioned car batteries And that's a less expensive way of providing power for rural communities than for example building a centralized power station burning coal or oil and building out a high voltage grid It's also a more efficient way of providing power than relying on local generators, local diesel generators

I have a colleague, Professor Vijay Modi, who's in the Engineering School of Columbia, who's involved in installations of this sort all over Africa at the moment And these are the most cost effective ways of providing power to remote rural communities

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