Thursday, November 17, 2011

‘Africa wants solar powered fridges cheap’

By Ackel Zwane

AFRICA wants the solar powered refrigerators currently being developed in the wake of efforts to eradicate ozone depleting substances, these being some of the harmful gases traditionally used in the fabrication of refrigerators.
Participants attending the 15th Joint Meeting of Ozone Officers Network for Africa (ODSONET/AF) at the Monomotapa Crowne Plaza hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe, felt the current estimated costs at about 1 500 Euros (approximately E13 500) fell way over what residents of the continent would ever afford.

The refrigeration project, however, is still at pilot stages with Palfridge in Matsapha Swaziland being one of the manufacturers after funding was made available through cooperation with Giz, the German cooperation agency. Most technical aspects of the project are coordinated through Solarchill.

The issue of affordability also took centre stage when members of the African network of journalist attached to ODSONET also felt there was need for a breakdown of the transfer of technologies. They were also concerned whether the knowhow would remain in Africa and be used by the Africans to produce the fridges for their own benefit. The concern also went to cover the use of local materials instead of importing. 

Alvaro Zurita of Giz, however, said it was not possible to produce entire fridges without importing certain components.
He further referred to the case of Swaziland when he explained to journalists that Palfridge was among the local companies to benefit from the Terminal Phase-out Management Programme (TPMP) of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), these being gases that are phased out as per the dictates of the Montreal Protocol.

Other countries where the solar project is piloted are Kenya and Columbia. It is hoped that funding would be secured for all countries wishing to produce them. 

The more companies involved in the production of the refrigerators the lower will be the cost per unit and thus affordable to Africa. Swaziland is represented by Ozone Unit Officer in the Swaziland Environmental Authority, Thabile Dlamini who delivered the country report on the status of Swaziland in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

About the Montreal Protocol
n In 1985, the Vienna Convention established mechanisms for international co-operation in research into the ozone layer and the effects of ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs). 1985 also marked the first discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. 

n On the basis of the Vienna Convention, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was negotiated and signed by 24 countries and by the European Economic Community in September 1987. The Protocol called for the Parties to phase down the use of CFCs, halons and other man-made ODCs.

n After a series of rigorous meetings and negotiations, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was finally agreed upon on September 16, 1987 at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.