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Firm unveils system for easier access to energy during emergencies

By Moses Omusolo | March 14th 2019 at 17:01:53 GMT +0300

Integrated sustainable energy solutions provider Schneider Electric has rolled out the first of its portable power system for use in emergency situations.

This comes as the increase in humanitarian emergencies worldwide calls for mobile, clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions.

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With more than 68 million forcibly displaced people in 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said it has continued to see an unprecedented number of people uprooted by war, violence or persecution worldwide.

Also, according to Oxfam, an estimated 23.5 million were forced to leave their homes in 2016 due to extreme natural disasters.

However, when these humanitarian crises occur, often in zones that are either cut off or away from electricity grids, access to easy, fast, clean, reliable and affordable energy is required to bring vital supplies such as food and medicine to impacted populations.

Even-so, up until now, relief operations have had to rely on fossil fuel energy now discouraged for being dirty, expensive, noisy, difficult to transport and dangerous to the environment.

That is why Schneider Electric has developed Villaya Emergency--a containerized plug and play solution-- for fast deployment of energy in emergency situations.

“Schneider Electric presents Villaya Emergency, a containerized mobile solar microgrid solution designed for ease of use in any humanitarian emergency produced in its plant here in Kenya,” reveals the firm in a statement, adding that thanks to a system of easy-to-move and use photovoltaic panels, the configuration produces electricity enough to power a village, a health center or group areas in refugee camps.

Also, while the entire system can be fitted into a standard shipping container for fast, easy transportation or relocation to anywhere worldwide, Villaya Emergency can be deployed on site in less than 30 minutes.

“As a longer lasting and more robust solution in the long term than traditional electricity generators, Villaya Emergency requires a larger initial investment but offers a higher return on investment from the third year,” said Olivier Jacquet, , Schneider Electric’s head of research on emergencies, refugees and conflicts . 

Further, he said that the firm is working on new business models, such as rental and leasing, which could improve access to this new offering.

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