Fri Dec 5 2003
Page: 3 Section: Around The Area
Source: The Observer
A small Pembroke-based company is exploring new energy solutions for Africa as a result of a partnership with a South African company. Glenergy Inc. designs and manufactures white LED (light emitting diode) systems - which consume as little as 8 watt of power - and specializes in identifying sensible applications of alternative energy.
The company hopes to bring its expertise to remote areas such as South Africa's Eastern Cape, where its partner, Telecom Techniques, is currently active with solar power, wind power and water purification/heating system installations.
"The scope for our technology in the Eastern Cape alone is enormous," says Glen MacGillivray, president of Glenergy, who expects the partnership to open doors to the rest of the continent.
"We plan to introduce a suite of solutions for African physical and socio-political conditions related to water pumping, purification, heating and desalination, in addition to lighting and battery charging," adds MacGillivray.
Glenergy is currently promoting the Edulight, a prototype reading light designed to serve the estimated two billion people on the planet without access to sufficient light in the evening.
"The Edulight, which is powered by a small solar panel, will replace candles and paraffin lamps, which are harmful to the eyes and produce harmful gases," explains MacGillivray. "Furthermore, there will be reductions in the consumption of flammable liquids and fewer accidents caused by fuel-powered lamps - as well as the potential long-term benefit of an increased literacy rate."
The Edulight can also be charged from a larger solar installation. "Thousands of schools in the Eastern Cape are installing solar systems that could easily incorporate such stations," notes MacGillivray.
As a result of its participation in the Team Canada Trade Mission to Africa in November 2002, Glenergy developed a partnership with U-Squared Ltd. to help it enter the West African market.
The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that could result from the replacement of paraffin and kerosene lamps with Edulights has prompted the two companies to explore a joint program, partially funded by Natural Resources Canada, which would introduce the technology to South Africa.
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