Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Lights on

A mix system of solar power and conventional energy power promises to bring sufficient power to remote villages. A new EU initiative has helped take this technology to several Mediterranean countries.
Lights on
Innovative technology based on multi-user solar hybrid grids (MSG) and fossil fuels has given remote areas of Europe a generous boost in electric power. Now, the same technology can be transferred to the sunny Mediterranean to power villages with much more than just lighting.

The EU-funded project 'Cost efficient and reliable rural electrification schemes for South Mediterranean countries based on multi user solar hybrid grids' (Cresmed) focused on supplying electricity to rural areas around the Mediterranean.

Whereas traditional solar power cannot power much more than lighting, this hybrid system promises to give rural communities enough power for a markedly improved quality of life. After successful applications in Europe, Cresmed aimed to develop micro-grids of energy in villages and to introduce management tools for their operation through high-tech communication technologies such as satellites. This required solid research in host countries on the social, economical, financial and technical aspects that impact adoption of the new systems.

After completing thorough research, Cresmed helped adapt the systems to operate reliably and effectively in hot, dusty climates in EU Mediterranean partner countries (MPCs), including Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. The project also supported the development of a remote tele-monitoring system that enables operation and maintenance without having to visit the remote site. Fine tuning of the electrical load management system has also been adapted for the region and its rural realities.

Once testing is complete, this technology can be fully adopted by other third-world countries and bring much needed relief to rural populations. The general benefits this development could bring to people range from economic empowerment to sustainability of remote areas, giving local communities a much needed boost.

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