Porto-Novo county, located in Santo Antão Island, Cape Verde has been taking major steps torwards energy access, through clean sustainable sources.
Porto-Novo county is already known for its successful experiments in what concerns renewable energy and improving the access of its communities to electricity and water pumping intended for human consumption and agriculture.
Monte Trigo, an isolated fishing community is setting the example ever since the region was provided with solar-generated electricity in 2012, thank to a project implemented by Águas de Ponta Preta, the most recent member of ALER (check here the editorial describing the project)
With a total installed capacity of 40kWp, the solar-generated energy was one of the first initiatives implemented in Cape Verde in the field of renewable energy and it has had a huge impact improving the living conditions of the population. One of the most positive aspects has been making it possible to install two ice maker machines, allowing the fish to be preserved without the need for drying, thereby selling it for a higher price.
Besides Monte Trigo, where 75 families live (nearly 300 residents), Chã de Feijoal and its 18 families also have access to electric energy supplied by a photovoltaic system since 2015.
The project consists of a photovoltaic system of 5kWp integrated in the low-voltage distribution grid. This system improves the living conditions of the community and reduces the expenses of each family regarding energy consumption.
In other regions in the middle of Porto Novo county, such as Cabouco de Alecrim, the solution reached was to install individual solar kits. It is expected that these will also be installed soon in Bolona, Pascoal Alves and João Bento.
Planalto Norte stands as the only exception of Porto Novo, where the population still does not have access to electric energy for 24 hours a day. Nervertheless, reality will change soon thanks to the portuguese cooperation and to the United Nations Representation in Cape Verde, already implementing an electrification project in Planalto Norte using renewable energy.
The project is estimated at 25.000 contos and it is expected to be completed in the early months of 2018. These examples demonstrate the significant role that these type of solutions may have to reach the national goal of providing universal access to energy in remote and isolated areas by 2020.
It is a challenge that will be faced for the years to come by the recently created Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy headed by Alexandre Monteiro.