Areas 'with no infrastructure' to get solar houses

29 July 2009

Areas of South Africa said to have no infrastructure or power sources will be where houses powered by the sun are to be built.

Tim Cornell is the founder of eco-home construction company and has been creating such properties since 1998. He told the Oregonian newspaper how he plans to take his pole house concept to South Africa and help poorer inhabitants of the country.

He was asked by a Canadian non-governmental organisation to build 40,000 homes and is planning to start work early next month and replace poverty-stricken areas with the properties, which are called P-Pods. They will be erected in regions of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban.

Each will receive 12 volts of electricity generated by solar panels on the roof, in addition to 480 watts of power for lights, appliances and fans.

The walls are to be insulated using expanded polystyrene, which will help to maintain comfortable temperatures in South Africa's climate.

"We'll be bringing self-sufficient homes to neighbourhoods where there are no electrical grids, power sources or infrastructure," Mr Cornell explained.

"Entire families are squeezed under a tarp - that's no way to live."

The news follows an announcement in recent days that a windfarm is to be built in Kenya.

It will be the biggest on the continent and is due to be completed in 2012.

Category: Energy

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