Special Issue "Solar Energy in Africa"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2020.
Interests: bioeconomy; hydrodynamic cavitation; solar energy; green extraction; food science; energy policy; bioproducts
Interests: nanochemistry; solar energy; heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals; sol-gel materials; glycerol; biorefinery; microencapsulation; helionomics; building integrated photovoltaics; sustainable development; LED lighting; energy management
Almost 50 years after the achievements of Father Bernard Verspieren and Mali Aqua Viva in fighting drought and poverty in the Sahel with the first direct solar pumps, the use of solar energy in Africa is finally experiencing massive uptake on a truly continental scale.
From tens of thousands of solar-powered LED lights installed in the roads of Senegal or Algeria, through huge photovoltaic arrays deployed in Egypt’s or in Morocco’s desert regions, today’s low cost and highly efficient photovoltaic and photothermal technologies used to produce (generate) electricity and heat are not only ready to eradicate energy poverty in many of Africa’s countries, but can also enable the long awaited transition to distributed generation in both urban and rural areas.
The concomitant availability of new low-cost energy storage technologies—the Li-ion battery today and solar hydrogen in the near future—solves the solar energy intermittency issue, making solar electricity available at all times for stationary civil and industrial applications, and for power electric vehicles.
Which obstacles remain to be overcome for general adoption of decentralized electrification based on photovoltaic modules in Africa? How can the mini-grids be built that are needed to provide electricity 24 hours a day to entire villages? Is it realistic to assume that Africa’s countries will soon start manufacturing solar cells, lithium batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells?
How can young Africans be transferred the technical know-how needed to maintain and optimally use solar energy technologies? How can solar modules and batteries be secured to prevent the theft that plagues solar installations? Which are the most suitable financial models to support the purchase of new energy technologies in countries where the daily income is limited to a few dollars?
This Special Issue, “Solar Energy in Africa”, aims to provide an answer to these and related questions to eventually provide an authoritative and updated outlook on the recent progress of the use of solar energy in diverse African countries and regions, including the numerous African islands.
We encourage colleagues from the broad academic energy community to publish original papers and review studies in this themed Issue whose publication in open access format will ensure free and global access to knowledge of direct relevance to the common future of humankind.
Prof. Dr. Francesco Meneguzzo
Prof. Dr. Mario Pagliaro
Manuscript Submission Information
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