African safari lodges increase uptake of solar-plus-storage


Flickr: Violator 1

African safari lodges are increasingly taking up solar and storage options, not only to minimise environmental impacts of diesel generators, but also to improve power supply reliability, which can affect customer reviews for these holiday lodges.

A report from Dr. Thomas Hillig Consulting, THEnergy, has found the number of safari lodges utilising clean solar energy is rising, driven by the reduced costs of solar and storage technologies compared to diesel generation.

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A release by Swiss-headquartered clean energy provider Meeco Group also said that safari lodge clientele also expect “a reliable, clean, quiet and sustainable power supply” during their holiday and the batteries can improve this reliability. Power disruption, noise and exhaust emissions from diesel can also result in lower ratings from customers reviewing on travel booking websites.

Noting this trend, meeco has itself developed smartly connected hybrid and trybrid solar energy generation and storage solutions for remote hotels and safari lodges. The company has what it calls “trybrid solar mini-grids” at the Severin Safari Camp, the Severin Sea Lodge and 1920 Cottar’s Camp in Kenya.

Sebastian Bovensiepen, COO of The meeco Group, said: “We aim to shave-off costs and emissions by installing our eco-friendly solar PV system sun2live and combine this solution with our intelligent energy management and storage system sun2safe. Specially tailored sun2flow solar water pumps and sun2heat solar water heaters will complete the integrated clean energy system.”

Meeco uses smart meters to monitor peaks in energy consumption, and then storage can be used to avoid power outages. The firm creates joint ventures with its customers, with shares held jointly by the customer and meeco. The JV comes with long-term technical support by experienced.

Meeco said that adopting these technologies could help safari lodges to become pioneers in terms of eco-friendly and sustainable tourism in Africa.

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