More than one billion people still have no reliable access to electricity, particularly in rural areas in developing countries. The cost for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been dropping continuously in the past years, making solar electricity an even more viable solution for these regions. Reliable solar PV systems for community electrification that are well adapted and scalable are required.
The Canopus Foundation, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, has been managing the 2nd “Solar for All” Contest for Community Solar Electrification Solutions 2016 during the last year. The purpose of this contest is to identify outstanding technical concepts to provide electricity for communities in the developing world. The finalists have now been selected.
“In the second round of the “Solar for All” Contest, we focused on PV electrification solutions that benefit communities. Solar energy represents the most economic option for this application, due to the enormous price reduction for PV systems over the last years,” says Prof. Dr. Eicke R. Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE and Jury Chairman.
The four finalists chosen are:
- Boond Engineering & Development (P) Ltd
- Devergy East Africa Ltd
- Mera Gao Micro Grid Power Global Pre Ltd
- Village Infrastructure Angels Ltd
All systems are based on a DC distribution grid. One concept is aiming especially for use in production.
“I am truly impressed with the quality of the shortlisted submissions to our second “Solar for All” Contest which the jury has now selected. We shall invite these applicants to our final jury meeting in Mumbai,” says Dr. Peter W. Heller, Executive Director of the Canopus Foundation: “I trust that our contest will have a tangible impact on the further development of community solar electrification solutions worldwide.”
The winners will be announced and receive their award on 19 October 2016 at the Intersolar India in Mumbai. The first prize is a 400,000 Euro loan for 8 years at 6 percent interest and no collateral required. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by bettervest GmbH to raise the prize money on www.bettervest.com. The runner-up will receive a special prize of 10,000 Euros from the Siemens Stiftung and a membership offer for Siemens’ international support program “empowering people.Network.”
Winner of Short Video Contest
Alongside the “Solar for All” Contest 2016, the Canopus Foundation organized the “Showcasing Community Solar Electrification Solutions” Short Video Contest 2016. From numerous high-quality submissions, the following winner was chosen: Tarun Kalra, Boond Engineering & Development (P) Ltd., India. Kalra’s video convinced by showcasing innovation, real world impact as well as a creative video presentation. The video screening and the presentation of the 2,000 Euro prize will take place at the awards ceremony of the “Solar for All” Contest 2016.