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Africa's mobile networks drive renewable energy growth

Michael Malakata | Sept. 4, 2014
Renewable energy technologies are getting a boost in Africa, driven by the need to power base stations for mobile phone operators in rural areas that are unconnected to national power grids.

Over the last decade, Zambia and neighboring countries including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Democratic Republic of Congo have been suffering from a substantial power deficit because the demand for electricity has outstripped supply, leading to a new challenge of load shedding, according to Zambian minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma.

The influx of renewable energy technology companies will help to mitigate the power shortage effects, Yaluma said. And the introduction of solar mobile chargers will help bring about an inclusive society in which everyone would have an opportunity to have access to renewable energy, he added.

According to current statistics from the Zambian government, only 8.8 percent of the country's 14 million people have access to electricity from the national grid.


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