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Energy Generation

Although some rural schools in East Africa have virtually zero energy needs, this is changing, with an increasing requirement for wireless routers, smart phones and computers. While electric lighting can be avoided during the day with strategic natural daylighting design, all schools require energy for cooking and water heating.

Connecting to the national grid is a costly option for urban locations, with standby generators often being implemented during power cuts. For rural schools with limited budgets and increasing energy requirements, it is recommended to utilise smart energy saving principles and tried and tested appropriate technology applications.

Solar PV

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Photovoltaic panels are reducing in cost and small power uses for lighting, mobile phone and computer charging can easily be met by a local installation.

Solar Thermal

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Solar energy can provide low cost hot water using anything from a black plastic pipe to glazed solar collectors.



Burning wood for cooking is an expensive and polluting use of energy. Carefully designed eco-stoves can reduce smoke inhalation and improve efficiency.



Biogas from a biodigester or bio-latrine system is a sustainable alternative to fuel wood that can also be used as a heat source for the school kitchen.



New research has revealed cassava and banana peel as valuable raw materials that can be used as fuel instead of timber or charcoal.

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