Solar energy could be a big source of energy for Africa, but its possibility has been hindered by storage batteries which are highly expensive as well as inadequate for use in underprivileged countries. The World Bank on September 26, 2018 has declared a loan amount of $1 billion and plans to increase it by additional $4 billion to rev-up the energy storage capacity in numerous developing countries by 4.5 to 17.5 Gigawatt hour during 2025, which is more than triple of 4.5 Gigawatt electricity installed all over the continent.
Solar energy is abundant in Africa and the sun goes down only after 5:00 pm. The international financial institution is making all crucial effort to provide continuous supply of electricity in the continent. However, effective storage technologies for solar energy are limited in scope.
Developing Affordable Batteries will be key Challenge
According to Ricardo Puliti, Head of Energy Practice at the World Bank, Africa is country where solar power is “unmissable” source of energy and will be the first region to get the benefit. Additionally, Bangladesh and several other emerging economies of Southeast Asia will also garner benefits from the investment made by the Bank. He also conveyed that the institution wants to leverage the potential of storage by investing in battery technologies in developing nations. Furthermore, lithium batteries are available but they are generally made for the usage in electrical vehicles.
Whereas, the World Bank would like to see affordable batteries that can be utilized for rural life and is capable enough to last for at least seven to eight hours during the night as well as those that need less maintenance.
Batteries are the natural complements of several renewable resources and the source are varying so much over the course of period. This initiative will further help the general section of society to be independent. The investment will enable the communities to build a mini grid for power backup. Now it’s a challenging task for manufacturers to develop the appropriate technologies.