Kyocera Corporation recently announced donations of solar power systems to schools in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
The donations consist of fifteen 600-watt Kyocera solar panel based systems complete with deep cycle battery storage, which Kyocera will install in participating schools in Nepal starting early 2009. A 600 watt system may not sound like a huge amount, but in a country where only approximately 20 percent of the population has electricity, the donation will go a long way to provide a better education experience for children in the beneficiary schools.
Nepal’s electricity is mainly based on hydro-electric generation, which often fails during dry seasons. Currently, the nation is experiencing one of its worst energy crises, with those who do have electricity warned they can expect blackouts up to 16 hours a day.
Climate change related threats could see similar disruptions to supplies occurring more regularly in the future, so the country is beginning to look more towards renewable energy alternatives. During 2007, the total volume of shipments of Kyocera solar power equipment to Nepal was 2.6 times higher than in 2006.
Kyocera entered the solar power business in 1975 and has a strong history of donating solar energy systems to rural areas of developing countries. Kyocera’s efforts in rural electrification began with the donation of solar power systems to Kankoi, Pakistan in 1983 and Gansu Province, China in 1985. Those projects included power for agricultural irrigation, vaccine refrigeration, and electricity for medical facilities. Looking ahead, Kyocera will also be donating solar power systems to 20 schools in Tanzania over the coming five years.
Australia’s solar schools program