15 April 2021 - In 2020, more than 850 million people worldwide did not have access to electricity, 90% of them mostly living in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Access to electricity is vital to ensure the basic needs of populations, such as education and health, but also for the development of local economic activities which helps to create jobs and prevent rural exodus.
Extending existing electricity networks to all rural areas remains a very expensive option, especially in Africa, given the low density of populations. Innovative technologies of decentralised renewable energy production solutions, such as the HYLIOS mini-power plant developed by ARE Member CMR Group, can significantly speed up access to electricity.
The significant drop in the costs of solar technologies, the development of storage and digital technologies for the supervision of installations or payment by mobile phone make these solutions fall mini-grids as a technologically viable and competitive option.
With HYLIOS, a hybrid solar power plant solution integrated in a container, CMR Group has the ambition to respond sustainably to the challenges of rural electrification.
"With its partners in Africa, the Group has mobilised its resources and expertise in renewable energies to perfect and develop HYLIOS", explains Yves Barraquand - CEO of CMR Group. "With HYLIOS, our ambition is to secure the operation of hospitals, to allow students to do their homework in the evening and to allow local businesses to develop."
Indeed, HYLIOS is a robust and innovative solution of mini power station "all-in-one" which integrates in the same container solar and energy storage. It is also equipped with a remote control system which allows our customers to simultaneously supervise the operation of all their installations.
On the site of the Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne, on the Charpak campus in Gardanne, France, HYLIOS produced its first kWh of solar energy. The mini-power plant will remain on the school site for several months and will serve as a showroom for the students and our customers.