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  1. Solar Power: Nigerians starved of electricity access turn to solar

    In this photo taken on Monday Feb. 20, 2017, Esther Peter, a plantain and onion vendor, plies her wares by lantern light in Lagos, Nigeria. In Nigeria, for the cost of powering a small generator for two hours, Dutch company Lumos offer enough solar power to light a house, cool a room with a fan and charge cell phones for about eight hours. For a country without a secure supply of electricity where people are dependent on candles, batteries, kerosene and fuel for generators, Lumos was surprised they spend more on power than solar options. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The surprise was finding that people dependent on candles, batteries, kerosene and fuel for generators in countries without a secure supply of electricity spend more on power than solar options. The founders of Dutch company Lumos knew they could do better. In Nigeria, for the cost of powering a small generator for two hours they offer enough solar power to light a house, cool a room with a fan and charge cell phones for about eight hours. Customers can even watch TV for a few hours. For Nigerian government clerk Sandra Besong, it means her three children aged 8 to 17 can study and read at night. "Before, I was using a local lamp with kerosene, but the flame wasn't bright enough for the children to read," she said in a telephone interview from her home in Masaka, in central Nasarawa state. "We love the light!" she said. "The children appreciate it because they can read, watch TV, and they can use fans, so they are not hot. And there's none of the noise and fumes from a generator." Fans are important in Nigeria, where temperatures average 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Besong said she's also saving money. Powering a small generator for two or three hours a day cost her up to 7,000 naira ($23) a month, compared to 4,500 ($15) for solar, which provides double the time. She pays her bills through her cellphone. Development across Africa is hampered by a lack of electricity. In 2015, 621 million people in sub-Saharan Africa — or two out of three — lacked access to power, and the numbers are growing, according to a report by the Africa Progress Panel. "It would take the average Tanzanian eight years to use as much electricity as the average American consumes in a single month," it said in a report . Nigeria is worst of all. Just 25 percent of its 170 million people have access to regular electricity, and the West African nation has the highest outage rate on the continent, 32 a month averaging eight hours each, according to the Overseas Private Investment Corp ., the U.S. government's independent investment agency. Such figures inspired former U.S. President Barack Obama to create Power Africa, bringing together technical and legal experts, the private sector and governments. Power Africa provided financial assistance to Lumos to produce the solar kits, which it provides to clients on a five-year subscription. A $50 million low-cost loan from OPIC and $40 million in equity will help fund another 200,000 solar kits to bring power to 1 million Nigerians by year's end, said Yuri Tsitrinbaum, CEO of Lumos Nigeria. Lumos began selling solar kits in Nigeria in May 2014. The company, which has 30,000 customers in central Nigeria, launched nationwide this week. Firefighter Ibrahim Momoh-Bekisu turned to solar fearing for his family's safety. "Do you know how many families' lives have been destroyed because of fires caused by candles, kerosene, electrical fires?" he asked in a telephone interview from his home in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. Momoh-Bekisu said his neighbors battling with darkness are now interested in getting solar power : "Their children come to my flat to come and study and watch TV." Most importantly, "For me, this (solar power) is a life-prolonging issue, it contributes to life expectancy," he said in a country where the average person dies at 52 compared to a global average of 71 years, according to U.N. figures.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  2. Solar Power: Cajon Valley Union School District selects SunPower for 24 sites

    The solar power installations totaling 4.6 megawatts (MW) will primarily include carports, as well as a few rooftop systems, and should be operational by the end of this year.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  3. The meeco Group installed biggest solar power plant in Zimbabwe

    The current installation of the so far largest solar power plant in Zimbabwe, with a total capacity of 216 kWp, marks a major turning point in the history of energy supply in Zimbabwe.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 23 Feb 2017

  4. Energy Prices: Cuccinelli, lawmakers push to end utility rate freeze

    A bill undoing a 2015 law that froze electric rate reviews died swiftly this legislative session, but opponents of the law, including former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, said Tuesday it's not too late to see it repealed.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 23 Feb 2017

  1. Nuclear Power: Study: Savings possible by shutting down nuclear power plant

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 23 Feb 2017

  2. Renewable Energy: Seattle lab aims to speed development of clean-energy tech

    The paint has barely dried on the walls at Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, but already academic researchers and startups are lining up to use the state-of-the-art facility to help speed development of their clean energy innovations.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sat, 18 Feb 2017

  3. Solar Power: Indiana Senate panel OKs bill to reduce solar incentives

    An Indiana Senate panel gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill backed by the state's investor-owned power utilities that critics contend is an effort to muscle out smaller companies from the emerging solar energy market.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 17 Feb 2017

  4. Dominion solar power investment in Virginia approaches $1 billion

    Dominion is investing more than $800 million in solar power in Virginia, with much of it being built at little or no cost to most customers.  Additional solar projects are now in the planning stages.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 15 Feb 2017

  5. Solar Power: Governor seeking new utility regulator, slams solar rules

    Maine's Republican governor is reiterating his call for state utility regulators to resign because of new solar rules they approved.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 15 Feb 2017

  6. Solar Power: Initiative seeks rooftop solar on New Mexico state buildings

    A bill designed to spur the installation of rooftop solar arrays on state government buildings in New Mexico has cleared its first hurdle in the state Legislature.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 16 Feb 2017

  7. Solar Power: Solar power plant commissioned to serve Las Vegas Valley

    Officials have flipped the switch on a solar power plant southeast of Las Vegas.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 15 Feb 2017

  8. Renewable Energy: Virginia GOP, big utilities back a costly green energy idea

    Republican lawmakers in Virginia have maintained a go-slow approach to renewable energy for years, saying a conservative path has helped keep electricity costs under control as the state figures out how best to harness solar or wind power.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

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