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Volume 1, Issue 1     January 1994

SOLAR POWER IN AFRICA

Africa , as a continent, has tremendous solar energy capabilities due to the proximity of most of it's land mass to the equator. At that latitude, most of Africa will have 325 days of strong sunlight. Most electrical systems in many African countries are quite obsolete, as they date from the colonial era. Hence, the potential for the development of solar energy as an alternative to building nuclear power complexes is considerable and should be seriously examined. A new, massive energy / electrical infrastructure is really possible. Although Africa presently generates less than 1% of the world total from nuclear, its growth in nuclear has been the world's fastest since the mid-1980's. Further, even if the effects of pollution caused by extracting, refining and burning petroleum are ignored, Africa's estimated petroleum reserves of 60 billion barrels are insufficient to supply the entire population of the continent in the long run. Therefore, even though solar energy is still undergoing development to reduce costs, the demand is there. For many reasons known to us all, Africa has remained virtually clear of any industrial pollution: the use of solar power in these regions will most likely reinforce this latter aspect as well as initiate a certain resource boom. -- Abdoulaye M. Yansane.

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National Solar Power Research Institute, Inc., © 1994.
Editor - Mark Ciotola; Assoc. Editor - A. To; Publisher - Peter Spangler. Contributing writers: Abdoulaye Yansane, Jean Wu, Ri-Xi Liang, Zilian Tang. Directors: Ri-Gui Dalia Liang and Mark Ciotola. Subscriptions: 50 reimbursement per issue domestic / 23 plus postage foreign. A matching donation is suggested, but optional. Limited number of free copies available. Mail subscriptions and correspondence to the National Solar Power Research Institute, Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue Suite E3248, San Francisco, CA 94102. V1 I1.