Category: Blog

semonkong hydropower plant building in lesotho

Semonkong Mini-Hydro Power in Lesotho

Semonkong is located in the highlands surrounding the capital of Lesotho, Maseru. The community comprises of just over 8,000 people, and Semonkong itself is one of the coldest places in Lesotho with frequent heavy snowfall, and hence electricity access is a priority for the community to replace traditional, unsustainable sources of heating energy. The Semonkong […]

solar panels at ha-makebe mini-grid in lesotho

Ha-Makebe Community Solar Mini-Grid in Lesotho

The Ha-Makebe community solar mini-grid was initially installed in October 2018 by OnePower Lesotho, with financing support from the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP). The project is located on the outskirts of the Berea district, north-east of the capital, Maseru. Ha-Makebe is the first privately-owned Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Lesotho, and supplies electricity to […]

Solar panels at the Motete solar mini-grid in Lesotho

Motete Solar Mini-Grid Project in Lesotho

The Motete mini-grid project is in the district of Butha-Butha, in the remote Northern region of Lesotho. The project is being implemented through the Smart Villages Research Group, MOSCET (a local off-grid energy company), the National University of Lesotho and Gram Oorja, the Indian technical lead for the project. The aims of the project are […]

Solar panels at the Yebu community mini-grid in Nigeria

Yebu Solar Community Mini-Grid in Nigeria

How democratic are the decision-making processes in decentralized electricity markets? Our Nigerian project team decided to investigate these processes in Yebu, a community in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, close to Abuja. Yebu is a community of roughly 80,000 inhabitants, with a predominantly primary industry focused economy, with sand mining, logging and agriculture being […]

As national grid extension costs rise, a growing space for minigrids emerges over off-grid or grid solutions. Small-to-medium size settlements with average economic capacity and high distances-to-grid offer a strong argument for mini-grid solutions

Energy from Community Roots in Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr Jon Cloke writes on the decentralization argument for energy access, implementation challenges, and justice in energy transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa The global energy crisis between 2019-2021 has worsened energy access in Africa – it has been estimated that the population of SSA without electricity will increase by 11% to 2030 (Butu et al, 2021). […]

A photo of the Mpanta mini-grid solar array, showing ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels.

Mpanta Solar PV Project in Zambia

In our latest blog, Nandi Mbazima writes on the Mpanta solar mini-grid project in Zambia. As the first community-based renewable mini-grid developed in Zambia, the Mpanta Solar PV Project was developed as a demonstration project to showcase a viable inclusive governance scheme that can provide and sustain electricity to a rural community. While the community project […]

Share of renewable energy in Lesotho's total final energy consumption from 1990 to 2015. Renewables share peaks at 57% in 2000 before falling to 52% in 2015.

Lesotho’s Renewable Energy Opportunities

Dr Moeketsi Kali writes on the current situation and potential for renewable energy developments in Lesotho. Lesotho’s leading renewable energy generation is state-owned and managed by Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC). The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) generates electricity, and LEC transmits and distributes it across the country. In addition to hydro, LEC manages a mini-grid […]

An image of the Anchor-based Mini-Grid System Model. Three concentric rings, with the out ring being "community", captioned as "surrounding local communities"; the middle ring being "business", captioned as "SMEs with larger load than surrounding communities, and the inner ring being "Anchor", captioned as "large, creditworthy consumer with constant, reliable demand e.g. telecom; mine; agro-processing industry"

The Anchor based mini-Grid System Model

As a doctoral researcher exploring the social and political dimensions of rural electrification systems, there is a principal alignment between my own research intentions and the “Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African Countries” (Energy Democracy) project. This is captured in an acknowledgement of the value placed on local community inclusion in […]

Aerial image of a run-of-river style hydroelectric plant. The main river body extends to the left of the image over some forested rapids, with a straight causeway on the right leading to the hydroelectric plant.

Electricity and Energy Transition in Nigeria

Have you ever wondered why it proves so difficult to address energy infrastructure challenges within developing African country contexts? What shapes energy systems development and the kind of energy infrastructure we end up with within developing country contexts? The book on Electricity and Energy transition in Nigeria provides readers with a detailed account of the […]

A person's hands typing on a laptop, with a word processor open on the laptop, and a desktop monitor in the background

Introduction to the ENR-Demos blog

ENR-Demos – Energy democracy and the politics of energy transition in African countries is a UKRI GCRF-funded project (Grant No. ES/T006285/1) that aims to investigate what could mean energy democracy in the context of sub-Saharan African countries. The research deals with the political implications of energy transition in terms of greater participation of the civil […]