Since the start of the year, one of Rwanda’s biggest tea producers has been a pioneer as far as clean energy is concerned. At the end of March, dena inaugurated a modular, expandable, grid-connected, diesel driven photovoltaic system on the roof of the Sorwathe Tea Factory in Kinihira. This will enable the factory to save up to 22,000 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions a year and dramatically reduce its electricity costs. The system was installed by the German companies, OneShore Energy GmbH and BayWa r. e. renewable energy GmbH. While BayWa r. e. supplied the photovoltaic components and OneShore Energy’s software solution enabled planning to optimise consumption, while ensuring efficient operation. The aim of the RES programme is to help German companies in the renewable energy industry to develop reference projects and open up new target markets abroad.
More inauguration ceremonies followed in May. In Yokohama, Japan, dena opened a grid-connected, roof-mounted photovoltaic system with an output of 16.2 kilowatts peak. The German company, ADLER Solar Services, and the Japanese manufacturer of solar systems, Yokohama Kankyo Design, developed a system equipped with four different module types, a weather station and a monitoring system. It is to serve as a training centre in the future.
New financing model for photovoltaics in South Africa
Two photovoltaic systems began operation at the same time in South Africa as part of the dena RES Programme. Both roof-mounted systems are located in Greater Cape Town, at the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay and at the Atlantic Gold Guesthouse in Camps Bay. In the future, with a total output of 34 kilowatts peak, they will produce around 57,000 kilowatt hours of solar power per year.
The special feature of the lighthouse project in South Africa is the new financing model that goes with it. This should facilitate the expansion of photovoltaics in the country. The company, maxx-solar, sells the system to a finance company. The end customers – in the pilot project the Dominican Grimley School and the Atlantic Gold Guesthouse – pay a rate of hire agreed in advance and buy the electricity that is generated. Eventually, after five to fifteen years, they can acquire the system. This new model was also welcomed at the opening ceremony by Matthew Kempthorne, Chairperson of the Energy and Climate Change Committee of Cape Town. He said, “Today this project is showing us the way to the future; because through partnerships between governments and private enterprise we can bring about the necessary global change.”
dena’s RES projects were funded as part of the Energy Export Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).