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July 10, 2020 was held in Bangoula, a locality located 10 km from Niamey, the validation workshop of the data collected in the framework of the green hydrogen ATLAS initiative for West Africa. Were present at the workshop, the General secretary of the Ministry of Energy who is also the ECREEE focal and national team member, the deputy Vice Chancellor and coordinator of the project and many other experts in water resources, energy and socioeconomic data, meteorology, biomass, and other relevant sectors. The opening ceremony started around 10 AM with a welcome message by the deputy vice-chancellor of Abdou Moumouni University, followed the speech of the representative of WASCAL advisory board of Niger. Then the speech of the general secretary of the Ministry of Energy who launched the activities. A brief representation of WASCAL was then given by the coordinator of the project, Prof Rabani Adamou. A group photo was taken to immortalize the event. After the coffee break, the data collected was presented to the participants through the data sheet. Hence, discussions, comments and suggestions were made and the datasheet was validated. However, some recommendations were made including the focus on national sources and recent data, the use of the standard in calculating the mean values. The national committee members assure the participants that all their recommendations and concerns will be taken into consideration to improve the quality of the datasheet. Around 6 PM, the coordinator of the green hydrogen Atlas of Niger closes the workshop.
“According to the local electricity supply authority, only 25 percent of the population in Niger has access to electricity. In rural areas, where around 84 percent of the population live, the proportion is only eight percent, ”explains Prof. Dr. Ramchandra Bhandari from the Institute for Technology and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at TH Cologne. In order to promote rural areas in particular, a consortium of African and German universities and private companies is planning to build a solar system as part of a pilot project on the site of a village school in the Dosso region.
The solar system, which is up to 200 square meters in size, will generate between 15 and 20 kilowatts. A groundwater pump with drinking water treatment is to be operated with the electricity generated, which, together with new irrigation concepts, promotes local agriculture. In addition, the local people will have the opportunity to purchase electricity for their companies and to develop new business ideas. Battery rental for villagers, the use of cold stores for agricultural products, charging mobile devices or operating an e-moped as a taxi and delivery service are conceivable. Last but not least, the houses in the village are also to be supplied with energy.
“After the installation, a local entrepreneur manages the solar system. We want to show that power generation not only moves the location forward, but is also a worthwhile business model. If it becomes clear that money can be earned with our concept, it will hopefully motivate investors to set up and operate solar plants elsewhere in the country, ”says Bhandari.
The research proposal defense of the first badge of the Doctoral Research Program on Climate Change and Energy (DRP-CCE) took place on the 12-13th August 2020 at the “Complexe Scientifique Prof. ABDOULAYE Alassane”, Universite Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. The program saw coordination between the host institution, WASCAL headquarters in Accra, Ghana, the competence center in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, advisors board members of Wascal DRP-CCE and experts in the field of Climate Change and Renewable Energy from West Africa and Germany. Notably in the advisory committee are:
Proposals of all 11 students from the WASCAL member countries were subjected to strict scrutiny of the contents, relevance, innovation, and proposed methodology. Each student’s work was commended by the advisory board while reminding them that the real task of achieving success in their Ph.D. research lies ahead. The advisory board led by Prof. Rabani Adamou encouraged students to continue working hard bearing in mind that the Ph.D. research work is ultimately the responsibility of the student with little guidance from their supervisors. The proposal defense ended with a photoshoot in front of the “Complexe Scientifique Prof. ABDOULAYE Alassane”.