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Since the year 2008, the Renewable Energy Resource Centre of ORIRUDEV has carried out a set of research activities and programs aimed at:
- Assessing the energy needs of isolated (off-grid) Rural Settings in the North West and Western Regions of Cameroon
- Designing and implementing activities aimed at promoting the widespread use and application of low greenhouse gas emitting and cost-effective energy technologies in low income households, Communities and institutions. Specifically, the planned activities were aimed at reducing energy related CO2 emissions by promoting renewable and low greenhouse gas technologies as a substitute for the heavy dependence on fuel wood, kerosene and candles in Rural Areas.
- Designing and implementing programs aimed at removing technical and information barriers to the large scale utilization, application and adoption of renewable energy, cost-effective and energy-efficient technologies to meet the basic electricity needs of public, institutional and individual households in terms of lighting, cooking, communication, entertainment, commercial, income generating and water pumping.
- Designing and implementing projects that would demonstrate the socio-economic viability of solar, hydro and wind energy technologies.
The area of focus of the study covered ten economically depressed Rural Settings in the North West and West Regions which depend on subsistence agriculture and livestock keeping for their livelihood. All of these Communities are located in isolated (off-grid) areas.
The study revealed that for these economically powerless people, the absence of reliable and affordable renewable energy technologies for electricity generation has meant that the only possibility for the provision of electricity services for lighting, cooking, entertainment (music, TV), information (radio) is through fossil fuel based generators. In the absence of petrol or diesel generation, low income households in these Communities depend on fuel wood, candles and kerosene for lighting and dry cell batteries to power radio/cassettes.
The study also revealed that solar energy is available in all parts of Cameroon as a whole in abundant quantities and is equally distributed over the Country throughout the year. Therefore recent developments in the energy sector, especially in photovoltaic, hydro and wind energy have meant that some of these remote isolated off-grid areas can now be provided with clean electricity services through renewable energy on cost-effective and least cost basis.
In summary, the inability of rural off-grid Communities to secure reliable sources of clean energy resources has an adverse effect on their very wellbeing. The dwindling supply of fuel wood results from time to time in rapidly increasing prices in kerosene which negatively affects the poor and low income strata of the neighbouring Urban populations. For the people of these areas who do not buy fuel wood but collect it, the time to secure enough supplies of wood is increasing with negative repercussions in time needed for income generating activities, subsistence agriculture, child care and education.
Kerosene, candles and batteries deliver light of inferior quality but at comparatively high cost. But these are the only light sources that the low income households in these areas have access to and can afford. This has the consequence of limiting children’s evening activities for income generation and educational activities. The above are the gaps that ORIRUDEV, through the activities of the Renewable Energy Resource Centre seeks to address through the promotion of large-scale application, adoption, implementation and utilisation of cost-effective and energy-efficient technologies in off-grid Rural Areas.
Based on its experience in the area of Renewable energy, ORIRUDEV provides the following products and services:
- Manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of solar power systems (solar panels, inverters, charge controllers, …)
- Manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of mini-hydro power plants.
- Manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of windmills.
- Promotion of cost-effective and energy efficient technologies in off-grid (isolated) Rural Settings through exhibitions and awareness raising programs.
- Ensuring sustainable availability of solar spare parts through their production from locally available materials.
- Residential solar and LED electrification
- Solar and LED Street lighting
- Installation, operation and maintenance of solar water pumps for community water schemes, livestock watering and irrigation.
- Organization/ implementation of solar PV courses and study tours.
- Production and dissemination of information on Renewable Energy.
- Recycling of solar batteries
- Fabrication and dissemination of solar appliances (solar cookers, solar dryers, improved ovens, solar stoves, solar incubators, solar hot water panels).
- Dealers and distributors of assorted solar and hydro and wind power hardware.
Sources of Finance:
- Individual members annual dues’
- Fundraising activities
- Grants from donor agencies, Foundations and Government bodies
- Service contracts (Consultancies)
In an effort to promote the State-of-the-art Renewable Energy, ORIRUDEV is working in Partnership with the following:
Rural Communities which are not likely to be connected to the National Grid even in the next twenty-five years.
- Universities, Polytechnics, Technical Colleges.
- Rural Organisations, particularly farming Groups.
- NGOs that have a stake in the fight against Climate Change.
- Municipal Councils