When we talk about off-grid solar power, the picture that often comes to mind is a small rural home in Afghanistan or Bangladesh. We also imagine solar rooftop panels on the houses of early adopters of the technology who enjoy government subsidies via feed-in tariffs in suburban settings in parts of Australia, Germany or the United States.
But, what about installing solar capacity in a fully electrified urban environment in a developing country?
I learned last June about this unique approach from Mansurdzhon Kudusov, project manager for a local supplier of renewable energy solutions for corporate clients. Mansur has figured out a way to connect solar power and batteries in a commercial building in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.
Dushanbe, like many other Central Asian cities, is 100% electrified, and the price of electricity is relatively low. However, with the aging power system is rendering the power supply unreliable in many parts of the city. In other words, 100% electrification doesn’t ensure 24/7 power.
Some buildings have backup generators powered by diesel, but Mansur decided to try solar. Watch the above video to learn how he has made the building independent of Dushanbe’s unreliable grid-connected electricity.
Sohail Hansie is Principal Energy Specialist, Central and West Asia Department, ADB
This article was originally published on the Asian Development Blog. Reproduced here with permission