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3 energy-sharing solutions African startups can explore

energy-sharing - climateaction

3 energy-sharing solutions African startups can explore

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In some developed and developing countries, there has been a major shift from traditional energy distribution to a decentralized one due to the shortcomings of the former.

For one, traditional energy distribution restricts consumers’ choice and control. Secondly, a lot of energy is wasted during transmission. Thirdly, transmitting electricity is very expensive.

However, energy-sharing ensures sustainability since it requires sourcing from locally generated renewable energy, allows for control and transparency, and enables more energy-sharing due to incentivization.

The question then is: How can Africa tow the path of these continents in their sustainable energy-sharing advancement?

Below are 3 energy-sharing solutions that African startups can explore to resolve energy issues in the continent.

Developing electricity sharing platform

Oftentimes, people who use solar panels to generate their own electricity, produce more energy than they need.

Normally, when this happens, the excess energy is discreetly transferred into the energy grid.

African startups can develop software that enables private energy producers to directly share their surplus electricity with other registered users.

This will decentralize energy supply, provide access to energy for those who need it, and also enable producers to earn money for the same.

Employing electricity-sharing platforms for Africa’s sustainable energy needs will ensure that consumers do not have to compromise on their consumption.

Consumers can always augment their energy with other local renewable sources when there is an intermittence or deficit.

Exploring thermal energy-sharing

Thermal energy created from human activity (like free cooling systems from data centers, cold storage, and supermarkets) or from the recovery of waste heat (from landfills and wastewater effluent streams), is enough to fulfill the heating and cooling requirements of many buildings.

Sharing the excess thermal energy from places like factories, supermarkets, and hospitals with other buildings will reduce the total amount of energy needed for a community.

African startups can facilitate this by connecting thermal energy flows, thereby allowing buildings to benefit from one another.

Also, to ensure a sufficient supply of energy during grid peak demands, they can store energy in a thermal energy storage (TES) system or in a seasonal thermal energy storage (STES) facility.

Developing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging solutions

Electric Vehicles (EVs) may be popping up in discussions about sustainable mobility but we still do not see many of them in Africa and one of the major reasons is the lack of charging infrastructure in the continent.

How can African mobility and energy startups solve this problem? By turning to the sharing economy.

These startups can develop solutions that will enable residents to set up their own EV charging stations that are powered by excess household electricity.

That way, not only will charging be cheaper and accessible for EV drivers, but individuals who make energy available for sharing will have earning opportunities.

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