Distributed solar irrigation in Africa

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Distributed solar irrigation technology is, from our view, the one that can transform agriculture for the best. With this technique we can introduce modern crops in places where until now was unthinkable and that means increasing the capacity to produce food. Together with my team of engineers, I've been researching solutions for distributed energy for rural development since 2.003, and we have made significant progress. In southwestern Spain we have successfully implemented hundreds of distributed generation projects without subsidies, many of them unique, and with a high degree of innovation. The results have been far beyond of what we could think in terms of reliability and cost, and now they compete directly with conventional "dirty" technologies in commercial high production agriculture.

The impact of this technology in Spain is still important, but it can be much more in a continent like Africa. In this paper we summarize the results of our research for the application of this technology in Africa, where our goal is to establish partnerships to transfer know-how needed to implement this technology for rural development. On this continent solar radiation is very high, whilst agriculture is very sensitive to seasonal water stress. Both factors make solar irrigation distributed the most competitive technology to significantly increase the productivity of African agriculture. We propose the implementation of pilot demonstration projects that serve to introduce distributed solar irrigation in different regions of the continent.


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