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A Lesson from Africa’s ‘First Fully Solar-powered Village’

The Id Mjahdi village in Morocco uses solar power for all its energy needs. With less than 1% of the continent using solar energy, here’s how more communities can follow the footsteps of Id Mjahdi. The country already has the world’s largest solar farm, the Noor-Ouarzazate complex. Now, Id Mjahdi, on the outskirts of the city of Essaouira, is being pitched as a blueprint for how to power remote villages that would be expensive to connect to the national electricity grid. The first step in the $188,000 project was to build a water tower for the community. The next stage was to install a power station with 32 solar photovoltaic panels, which generate 8.32 kilowatts of electricity for distribution via a mini-grid. The power station is connected to around 20 homes in the village, serving more than 50 people. Each house was provided with a fridge, water heater, television, oven and an outlet to charge devices. The solar network has a battery that can supply up to five hours of electricity outside daylight hours.