Based on the International Energy Agency's statistics, globally over 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity and 2.6 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia and 84% are in rural areas.
Using World Health Organization projections for premature deaths to 2030, the annual number of premature deaths over the projection period from the indoor use of biomass is expected to increase in the New Policies Scenario, unless there is targeted action to deal with the problem.
By 2030 over 1.5 million people would die every year due to the effects of breathing smoke from poorly-combusted biomass fuels. This is more than 4000 people per day. By contrast, the World Health Organization expects the number of premature deaths from malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS to decline over the same period
At Grün leben GmbH, we believe thoroughly in putting our knowledge and expertise in service of “energy” needy people, what supports the development of their communities and enhance the chances of their children to have - equally to other children in the world - enough access to the energy needed for their academic development.
Grün leben GmbH develops affordable, renewable, high quality energy sources to thousands in rural areas with no foreseeable access to the national electricity supply.
We specialize in providing complete off-grid electrification to rural and undeveloped communities in Africa, India and other countries in South America. Our off-grid solar electrification projects provide an effective and renewable energy source that meets the highest safety and design specifications. We focus heavily on the sustainability of our alternative energisation systems - working together with universities, NGOs, local government and, more especially, involving the local communities and their leadership.
We take into account specific needs of certain areas including the potential for using electricity for irrigation and in support of off-farm income generating activities.
Our Solutions for rural electrification cover the following renewable energy systems:
Off-grid photovoltaic systems can be easily and quickly installed in places without access to traditional power lines - otherwise known as the “grid.” Solar photovoltaic power combined with an energy storage system can replace diesel and other generators, and this often at a lower cost than owning and operating a conventional generator.
Photovoltaics is, together with other renewable energies, one of the most adaptable, flexible and easy to use technologies for isolated rural areas. Typical off-grid applications are used to bring electricity to remote areas like mountain or desert locations or developing countries. Rural electrification refers to either small solar home systems covering basic electricity needs, or larger solar mini-grids which provide enough power for several homes and other community or small business uses.
Solar-powered water pumps
Solar powered water pumping systems are similar to any other pumping system, only the power source is solar energy. A photovoltaic solar powered pump system has three parts: The pump, the controller, solar panels. Solar water pumping arrays are fixed mounted or sometimes placed on passive trackers (which use no motors) to increase pumping time and volume. AC and DC motors with centrifugal or displacement pumps are used.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are used to pump water for livestock, plants or humans. Since the need for water is greatest on hot sunny days the technology is an obvious choice for this application. Pumping water using PV technology is simple, reliable, and requires almost no maintenance.
For farmers with a creek running through their properties, using a solar powered water pumping solution means less fouling of waterways and far less erosion of banks. It can also lead to better pasture management as livestock will be able to access water via multiple distribution points.
The most inexpensive solar bore pumps cost less than $1,500, while the large systems can run to over $20,000
Small-scale wind power
Small and medium wind turbines (SMWT) are not only environmentally friendly, they also offer a very advantageous cost-competitive solution for offgrid applications in rural areas. Small wind can also be combined easily in hybrid systems with solar or diesel, creating even more possibilities. The price of conventional energy sources, especially fossil fuels, is constantly rising, whereas the costs of small wind are showing a gradual decline, emphasising the attractiveness of these technologies.
In areas with good wind speeds, small wind turbines (< 5 kW) with output shared by several users, may be practical. However, unlike solar radiation, both hydro and wind resources are very site-specific so their aggregate potential for providing basic electricity supply in off-grid areas is likely to be miniscule compared to PV. In addition, the RE-RE and RE-diesel hybrids might be economically viable and technologically feasible in certain communities.
How much will a Small-scale wind power system cost?
The purchase and installation of a system large enough to power an entire home costs, on average, $30,000, but the price can range from $10,000 to $70,000 depending on system size, height, and installation expenses. The purchase and installation of very small (<1 kW) off-grid turbines generally cost $4,000 to $9,000, and a 100-kW turbine can cost $350,000.
Micro-hydro schemes produce power from streams and small rivers. The power can be used to generate electricity, or to drive machinery. Micro-hydro can bring electricity to remote communities for the first time, replacing kerosene for lighting, providing TV and communications to homes and community buildings, and enabling small businesses to start.
The power available in a river or stream depends on the rate at which the water is flowing, and the height (head) which it falls down. Hydro schemes are classified by the output power which they produce as approximately:
The core of a micro-hydro scheme is the turbine, which is rotated by the moving water. Different types are used, depending on the head and flow at the site.
How much will a micro-hydropower system cost?
There is no standard answer to this question because costs depend on site conditions and on how much work you are prepared to do yourself. In general, with current technologies the total cost can range from $1,500 to $2,500 per kilowatt of installed capacity, depending on the system’s capacity and location. For systems that are less than 5 kW in power output, the cost per kW is approximately $2,500 or higher because of the smaller size and the cost of additional components such as a battery bank and inverter.
Biogas small-scale electricity generation
Transformation of waste materials into energy can generally be accomplished through biological, thermal, and chemical processes. The energy produced from these processes can be in the form of heat, gas, or liquid fuel.
Biogas can provide a clean, easily controlled source of renewable energy from organic waste materials for a small labour input, replacing firewoood or fossil fuels. During the conversion process pathogen levels are reduced and plant nutrients made more readily available, so better crops can be grown while existing resources are conserved.
Since small scale units can be relatively simple to build and operate biogas should be used directly if possible (for cooking, heating, lighting and absorption refrigeration), since both electricity generation and compression of gas (for storage or use in vehicles) use large amounts of energy for a small output of useful energy. This concept is suited to "distributed" systems where waste is treated near the source, and sludge is also reused locally, to minimise transport and initial capital cost compared to a "centralised" system. As the distributed system will need a support network biogas contributes to the "triple bottom line"; benefiting the environment, reducing costs and contributing to the social structure.
Solar and fireless cookers
Solar ovens, call for no fuel, require no flame and produce no smoke. Women no longer need strip trees for wood, which provides another valuable asset: TIME.
The three most common solar cookers are heat-trap boxes, parabolic concentrators and panel cookers.
Taking into consideration solar cookers-related domestic violence incidents (When the weather has not been suitable for cooking, and the husband returns home to find no meal ready, he may become violent towards his wife.) and trying to avoid them, we develope concepts of "Integrated Cooking", which combine the use of:
Renewable energy village
A renewable energy village owns its own energy grid and gets all of its electricity and heating through local renewable sources, using different strategies and hybrid-systems. At Grün leben GmbH we develop such strategies for local communities and villages in rural areas, in order to provide them with sustainable energy solutions that support the development of their life quality.
Our focus has always been on three aspects:
• professionally designed, high quality and safe systems
• FREE and extensive training
• constant monitoring of the products’ performance and efficiency This resulted in well-implemented, thoroughly-tested products, which were eagerly accepted.