Tesvolt and Africa Green Tec to provide solar power to 250,000 Malians
The German firm Tesvolt, which manufactures commercial storage systems, has entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement with the start-up Africa Green Tec. Tesvolt is supplying lithium storage systems for 50 solar containers with a total capacity of 3 megawatt-hours (MWh), enabling a reliable power supply in 25 villages in Mali. The 40-foot containers each have a 37–45 kWp photovoltaic system and a 60 kWh battery storage system and provide energy for €0.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Before, the villagers had to pay up to €1.50 per kWh for energy produced by expensive diesel generators, or they had no access to power at all.
Reliable storage system partner for development project
Torsten Schreiber, Founder and Managing Director of Africa Green Tec, says: “For our project in Mali, we needed a reliable supplier of high-performance energy storage systems. Tesvolt shares our commitment to the decentralised, green and reliable provision of energy.”
The first solar container with a Tesvolt storage system is being set up in the village of Djoliba, south of the capital Bamako. By the end of 2018 all 25 villages should be supplied with solar power. The costs of €150,000 per container are initially being financed by crowdfunding and will later be covered by a loan.
Increasing productivity using stored solar energy
Thanks to Tesvolt’s storage systems, the villagers will be able to use solar power not only for around nine hours during the day, but also after dusk from around 6 to 10pm. Electric light makes it possible to work in the evening when it’s cooler – during the day the temperature is around 45°C in the shade. It also makes it possible to work in two shifts, which helps local small business owners to increase their added value.
Torsten Schreiber, Managing Director of Africa Green Tec, and Simon Schandert, Director of Engineering at Tesvolt
Large storage systems for challenging service environments
Simon Schandert, Director of Engineering at Tesvolt, says: “The project demonstrates the potential of solar power and storage systems in particular in remote areas of the world that aren’t connected to the power grid. Our storage systems can be used anywhere and have a long service life. This is thanks to intelligent control of each individual battery cell, which ensures that the systems are charged and discharged optimally. So naturally they’re an attractive option for locations that are hard to access, where the technology needs to be long lasting.”
The cooling the systems require, with outdoor temperatures reaching 50°C in the shade, is carried out by a special system, which also runs on solar power. The containers can be fitted with additional components, for example to filter contaminated water.
Not only is solar power is much cheaper, cleaner and quieter than the diesel that was used previously, it means that the villagers will no longer be dependent on the diesel supply. This will help to reduce costs within the villages and improve working conditions.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.