Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification and Development in Mozambique
Abstract: Rural areas continue to be home to the majority of the population in Africa. The importance of providing modern energy to rural areas cannot, therefore, be overemphasized. No wonder that at presently the major energy resource in Mozambique is fuel wood biomass. Total population is estimated to be 25 million and more than 80% of the energy consumed in the country comes from fuel wood biomass. The energy from the main grid covers about 45.3% of Mozambican population which 26.8% comes from the National Grid and the remaining 18.5% from renewables and other sources. People outside the grid are mainly those living in rural and suburban areas. For most rural households in the region, biomass fuels continue to be the dominant fuel of choice. The present document suggests possible options that could have greater impact on rural clean energy development. Such options could be Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal energy, Wind and Micro- hydropower for pumping water or electricity generator and Biofuels. These energy options are receiving adequate attention from policy makers and are improving rural life. These are useful Renewable Energy sources available in the rural areas since they can supply reliable, relatively cost-effective electricity for basic needs in developing countries. They can be used to improve the lives of people in many ways, including supplying clean electricity to light homes, hospitals, schools, small shops, and other infrastructures, pumping water, etc. For example, using the natural resource of wind, sunlight, rivers and Jatropha plants can improve the lives of many people in general and those in rural areas in particular. This paper aims to describe and discuss the present status of renewable energy technologies in developing countries (case of Mozambique), to define the plausible ways for expanding rural electrification and improving the life conditions for the rural population.
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