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Advanced Batteries & Energy Storage Research
Posted on March 3, 2021 by  & 

Solar Powered Laptops for Students in Madagascar

Jirogasy's project 'Jirodesk V2: Solar-powered computers to enable digitalisation in the off-grid market' seeks to make e-learning more accessible in Madagascar. The project has been awarded funding by the Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund to develop an energy efficient, all in one, solar powered PC, which can be assembled locally. Once the pilot project is complete, the company aims to provide computer access to over 10,000 students in Madagascar every year.
Jirogasy's project will leverage its local manufacturing capabilities to develop a solar powered computer that combines solar home systems and computer features. Jirogasy aims to provide computer access to over 10,000 students per year in Madagascar. The pilot stage of this project will begin with seven schools in Madagascar this year and a further 20 schools in 2022 with an additional production site in Kenya. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Energy Harvesting for Electronic Devices 2020-2040.
Jirogasy's Jirodesk 2 solar-powered PC will support students that do not have access to reliable power, allowing them to continue with their education and to learn digital skills. UK battery developer Aceleron has partnered with Jirogasy to provide the batteries to power the computers and to create jobs in the area.
According to a report on electricity and education by the United National Department of Economic and Social Affairs, about 90 percent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa go to primary schools that lack electricity, 27 percent of village schools in India lack electricity access, and fewer than half of Peruvian schools are electrified. Collectively, 188 million children attend schools not connected to any type of electricity supply. Put another way, almost one child out of every three goes to a school that lacks electricity. COVID-19 has forced schools online and the World Economic Forum highlights that it is more important than ever that transferable digital skills are incorporated into education curriculums.
Yann Kasay, Jirogasy CEO says: "Every part of this project is championing economic growth in East Africa. The computers are built here in Madagascar, supporting the development of local digital and engineering jobs. The batteries are enabling the growth of a skilled green jobs economy in Kenya. Together, they are delivering key educational resources to Malagasy schoolchildren, boosting digital literacy and offering a route for largely non-electrified communities to connect to new economic opportunities."
Amrit Chandan, Aceleron CEO, said "Using a solar home system to turn on a light is one thing, using it to power education is taking this technology to the next level. These computers can change lives. Circular economy batteries can be the cornerstone of localised circular economies - wherever the batteries are, they drive the growth of skilled green jobs. This project is evidence that clean technology is about so much more than reducing emissions, it's about improving people's lives."
Source: Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund, UNDESA
Top image: Jirogasy
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