Africa turns to a mobile network powered by solar and wind energy.
Africa is the world’s fastest-growing
market for mobile telephones. But the continent’s most remote areas are still out of reach of cell coverage. Building a reliable infrastructure for electricity requires an investment of several thousand dollars per kilometre, and few African countries have that kind of money to spare.
In Namibia—a vast country with 2 million inhabitants—Motorola has found a solution: a mobile network powered by solar and wind energy. During the day, batteries in the cellphone base station are charged by solar panels; at night, by a wind turbine. Last winter, the system worked so well that electricity was left over. In Dordabis, a village of 1,500 people located an hour’s drive from the capital city of Windhoek, locals used the excess power in their homes.
Motorola says the project has proven the feasibility of providing sustainable mobile telephone service to people in remote locations, thus bringing family members, business opportunities and health-care information one step closer.