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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 11 November 1995 (INFORSE, 1995)
close this folderRegional News - Africa
View the documentINforSE, East & Southern Africa Regional Workshop, Harare' September, 1995
View the documentKARADEA, Solar Training Facility in Tanzania
View the documentEnergy in Burkina Faso, 90% Renewable But...

INforSE, East & Southern Africa Regional Workshop, Harare' September, 1995

By Timothy Ranja, FWD/AFREPREN, Nairobi, Kenya, INforSE - Eastern Africa Regional Coordinator,

The regional INforSE workshop was held after the Intemational Solar World Congress, Harare, Zimbabwe, on 19 September, 1995. It brought together six participants from East and Southern African regions, along with Ghana in Western Africa.

The objectives of the workshop were to review the INforSE activities in the region, to launch the regional study, and to discuss new, possible regional initiatives.

Launch of Regional Study

The outline of the new regional INforSE study was presented. It will deal with the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy technologies in East and Southern Africa. The objective of the study is to examine successful sustainable energy activities with particular reference to biomass energy technologies in selected East and Southern African countries and to assess their socio-economic impacts. The main emphasis will be on job creation and potential contribution to sustainable development. The study will also recommend policy options that promote sustainable biomass energy technologies in the region and outline guidelines for replication of proven dissemination strategies. This will be achieved by carrying out a number of case studies in selected countries and the results will be used as the basis for initiating one or two promising biomass energy technology field dissemination options.

To launch the study, a thematic paper entitled "Socio-Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy Technologies: Case Studies of the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ) and the Maendeleo Stove" was presented (available from FWD). The paper describes the status of renewable energy technologies in the region and uses the two case examples from Kenya to demonstrate the pertinent social and economic benefits. It concludes by highlighting the various lessons learned' from the success of these projects, which can be replicated in other parts of the region. The presentation was followed by discussions in which the participants reviewed experiences in their own countries.

Possible Regional Activities

Mr. Max Mapako of Ghana Solar Energy Society briefed the workshop on the World Solar Summit Process (see article by Masse Lo, page no. 3.) and the GEF-UNDP solar electrification project in Zimbabwe.

A proposal for a regional INforSE workplan was developed. It includes the following activities:

· Conducting a study on job creation
by introducing renewable energy technologies (RETs), e.g. wind pumps.
· Participation in the World Solar Sum
mit Process and in the Summit itself.
. Assessing the penetration level of selected RETs such as improved cookstoves. The results will be published in a study/policy document.
· Assessing key RETs' local production capabilities.

KARADEA, Solar Training Facility in Tanzania

The KARADEA Solar Training Facility was set up to demonstrate the viability of solar energy for rural areas and to meet the growing demand for solar training in the region! The facility site has abundant solar and wind resources. The facility has demonstration equipment, with classroom and workshop space, as well as a solar library. The facility provides services in design, procurement, installation and repair of solar electric systems.

Presently, an apprenticeship program is run for periods of from 3 months to one year, and specially tailored courses is given. Small community-based solar credit programs are commencing. The next Basic Solar Installation course will be presented in collaboration with Energy Altematives Africa, Nairobi, Kenya in July, 1996. Skilled practitioners, university-level students, and volunteers are also welcome to the intemational fieldwork program.

The facility was established in 1993 and is administered by KARADEA, Karagwe Development Association, which is a community development and women's organisation.

More lnfo: Oswald Kasaizi, KARADEA, Solar Training facility, PO Box 299 Karagwe, Kagera, Tanzania, Tel: Karagwe 128. and Mark Energy Alternatives Africa, PO Box 76406 Nairobi, Kenya. Ph/fax. 254-2- 56S616.

Energy in Burkina Faso, 90% Renewable But...

By Godefroy Thiombiano, APER Boukrina Faso

Burkina Faso is part of the Sahel area south of the Sahara dessert. It has a surface of 275,000 km2, a population of 10.5 million, and a gross national product of 300 US$/year (12% of the European average). The final energy consumption is 1.3 MWh/capita/year, (Approx. 7 % of world average) of which 90% comes from wood and other biomass resources, 8% from imported oil and 2% from electricity. The potential for renewable energy consists of biomass, direct solar energy (3-5 times as much incoming solar energy per m as in Europe), and some hydro-power resources.

Energy Policy

In a situation with diminishing firewood resources and an oil bill equivalent to 25% of export earnings, the various official development plans make energy an everyday concern, with the following aims:

· eradication of desertification by reducing wood consumption via rational use of wood energy;
· reduction of oil costs by diversifying supply to more suppliers.

Rational Use of Biomass

To improve the efficiency of wood combustion, improved cookstoves are disseminated that use wood and charcoal as well as other alternative fuels, such as oil, butane gas, and alcohol. The models that bum wood and charcoal are of a design that is three to four times more efficient than the traditional fireplaces, which are constructed of three stones.

Between 1980 and 1990, 20,000 improved stoves were disseminated annually, mainly in the rural areas. The types designed for rural areas were made of clay and built by the users. For urban areas, metallic stoves (known as Ouaga Metallic, Burkina Mixte, and others) and ceramic ones were used. They were disseminated with the help of artisans' organizations.

It must be noted that there is a lack of awareness of the need for efficient energy use. The different evaluations show considerable variation in the acceptance of the technologies, especially in rural areas.

On average, 2,O00 ha of forests is saved per year due to the wood conservation effort.

Solar Energy

The direct use of solar energy is just beginning, and does not contribute significantly to the energy balance of the country. A number of technologies are applied to use this resource for, e.g., water heating, communication, light, food processing, conservation of medicine. The following applications illustrate these uses:

· dissemination of systems for water heating. This is a mature technology with local production of systems although the materials are imported.

· dissemination of solar driers. This is also a mature technology, fulfilling a real need. The systems are produced locally, and the dissemination is made easier by acceptance fuelled by existing habits of drying certain products as well as by the market for dried products.

· installation of systems for rural electrification.

In spite of the interest, a larger dissemination of solar energy will not take place before certain measures are in place:

· an inspection/certification of the different available systems and an evaluation of their impacts;
· a reduction of import duties on solar energy systems and components.

Electric Energy

More than 95% of the electricity is produced and distributed by SONABEL, the national electric utility of Burkina Faso. The production is mainly done by power stations fuelled with heavy oil (78%); the remainder is from hydro-power. The main consumer is the state, which buys almost 2/3 of the production, mainly for air-conditioning, indoor- and street-lighting.

Efforts are made to raise the awareness of the need for more rational use of electricity by developing better user habits and by using better equipment. Energy audits of the 10 largest consumers showed potentials for saving 20-50% of their electricity bills.


Even though the state of Burkina Faso has made an effort to support energy research, it is necessary that future programs be supported by bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The IBE (Institut Bukinabe de l'Energie) should play a number of roles in programmes to tailor technologies to small users, to disseminate research results to artisans, and to contribute engineering expertise.

It is also time to start new mechanisms that can make research and development results available to the public. A unit for support for and collaboration with local organizations would help to disseminate such results to the community, facilitating cooperation between researchers and the general public.

Translated, edited and shortened by the editors.

APER - Association pour la Promotion des Energies Renouvelables is under establishment with the aim of bridging the gap between the specialised institutions and the general public within the field of sustainable energy use. APER plans to create a file of persons from all over the world that will share their ideas and develop cooperation.

More Info: Godefroy Thiombiano, APERBl.4461 OuagadougouOl, Burkina Faso. Ph/fax +226-3670~9R9.