Bjørseth was elected Chairman of SunErgy (the mother company of 2 Mites) Board of Directors on the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting on December 14.
“We are very fortunate and pleased to have Dr. Bjørseth as chairman. His success and reputation in the field of solar energy, not least as the founder of Renewable Energy Corporation and Scatec Solar is invaluable.
Our vision is to build SunErgy into a global leading in providing electricity to off-grid village. Through offering electricity, Internet and Cable Television we will enable millions of people to escape poverty, moving into a brighter and more prosperous future” says Dr. Stein Skjørshammer, Managing Director of the company.
Other new members elected were Mr. Jon Skjørshammer, partner at the law firm SANDS and Mr. Jon Rømer Sandberg, owner of the investment and consulting firm Belvedere.
Ole Hallvard Haugen and Stein Skjørshammer will remain on the Board.
“While greeting the new board members welcome we should also thank Mr. Magnar Bjørk and Mr. Pål Klouman, outgoing members for their dedicated and inspiration contributions while being on the Board. They have served us well”, Dr. Skjørshammer concludes.
It was much happiness and joy when we finished and opened the solar power station at Bishop Judith Craig`s Children’s Village outside the capital city Monrovia, Liberia. Children and staff were jubilant!
70 children, some who were made orphans during the Ebola epidemic that plagued the country in 2014, live in the village together with the staff. On the same campus is also a school with more than 600 children. As of last Friday (Oct . 26) the people at the village and the school can enjoy electricity as it was switched on.
Below are some pictures taken by our engineer Piotr Kwasowski, who was responsible for the installation. The pictures are from the village and the opening ceremony. The ribbon was cut jointly by the bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Bishop Quire and a former resident at the village, Mason, who was one of the first children at the opening of the village some 20 years ago and their first university graduate. The two holding the ribbon is Debbie and Aron who will graduate from the school next spring, leaving the village to continue their university education. Both want to study medicine to become medical doctors “so we can help the people and our country”.
Back to the 70 children and the 12 Big Macs! The total cost to keep a child at the village (food, lodging, education, etc.) adds up to 1 USD per day while the price of a Big Mac in Norway is almost 6 USD (5.91 USD to be correct). Comparing the two numbers; 12 Big Macs pays for 70 children for one day. The idea of comparing the children and the Big Macs is not to give a feeling of guilt or keeping anyone away from enjoying their Big Mac, rather to remind ourselves and put the Big Macs into a different perspective from what we are used to. Or in a historical perspective, think of the billions of Big Macs that has been bought and enjoyed since the start of MacDonald’s in 1948 in its more than 36.900 restaurants with more than 1.5 million employees in over 100 countries around the world. We don`t even want to start calculating; only one days consumption of Big Macs would be mind-boggling. It may be a crazy calculation and comparison, but sometimes it is good to be a little crazy in our thinking. Outside the box! And besides, the divide between failure and success is all too often shockingly slim; in this case, just a few hamburgers.
Finally, this whole project was sponsored and paid for by the United Methodist Church, Board of Global Ministries in Norway. We were just grateful being selected to do the job based upon our experiences in Africa.
In previous articles I reported on the work going on in the village of Kotto 1 and switching on the lights, promising a video from the glorious event. Here it is for you to enjoy and share!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, Cameroon, electricity, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, new jobs, renewable energy, solar energy, SunErgy, west africa
I am happy to share a few pictures from the “Grand Opening” of Kotto 1.
We have to admit that Kotto 1 was a tough one! The grid covers more than 3 square kilometers brining electricity and cable TV to some 3 500 people. As far as we know it is, if not the largest, certainly one of the largest off-grid village solar power systems in the world and for sure, in the rain forest. It was a real challenge. We worked diligently and at the absolute fringes of our knowledge. But we succeeded! It`s done!
At the “Grand Opening”, the chief of Kotto 1 said, “today we live our forefathers dreams. What they dreamt about and hoped for generations, but never got to see, we experience. Now we can live as other people in the world! Darkness is gone. Light is here and with it a brighter and better future!”
A team from HiTV was with us for a couple of days when switching on the electricity. As soon as the video is ready we will post!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, cable TV, Cameroon, electricity, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, new jobs, renewable energy, solar energy, west africa
Enclosed are the latest pictures from Kotho 1, taken today.
The pictures show the solar park and the batteries installed. We will start charging the batteries next week getting ready for September 8. Do we need to tell that the whole village is filled with excitement and expectations? 8 of September cannot come soon enough! Generations of waiting are over. Light is here. Hopes and dream coming through!
A big applause and salute to Mr. Mike Fohba, Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon and his team! They have been working hard and diligently under extreme condition, this being the rainy season.
Guys, we salute you! You are real heroes!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, cable TV, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, internet, new jobs, renewable energy, solar energy, SunErgy, west africa
On the 8 of September we will switch on electricity in Kotho 1 – the third village in the project.
Work is going full speed ahead with more than twenty people working in the village wiring homes, constructing the solar park and building the grid for electricity, cable TV and Internet.
The excitement and expectation is to be felt as soon as you arrive at the village; the dawn of a new day!
Enclosed are four pictures from Dr. Skjorshammers visit last week, showing young electrician going to wire a home, a home just being wired, pulling a 2000 meter cable for the grid from the solar power station to the road by hand and pulling 4000 meter cable constructing the grid using a car. Hard manual work! But then, we are deep into the rainforest! Not very sophisticated, but it works! The rainy season does not make it any easier. Soon September 8 is here and more than 100 years of darkness turns to light! More than 3 000 people will experience pure joy! Waiting is over!
stressed a council member in one of the ”SunErgy villages” at my visit to the village last week. ”We are eagerly waiting for you to bring us more electrical household equipment. Now we have television and radio. Are able to charge our mobile phones. Please bring us the rest. We want what you have in Europe!”
My take from this is that as soon as people get access to electricity they also get a craving for all the amenities going along with electricity and which you and I take for granted, such as hot water boilers, hair dryers, cooking plates, refrigerators, etc. Everything, which improves life and make it easier; like us they want the good life! There is no difference.
Believe it or not, by the end of this year, we will have brought and installed an estimated 8 000 light bulbs, more than 1000 television sets and radios, hundreds of hot water boilers, hair dryers, shaving machines. More than hundred refrigerators, freezers and washing machines in addition to streetlights, computer rooms in schools, etc. The numbers are awesome with more (much more) to come as the project moves forward.
The council member did not ask for freebees. He did not beg. On the contrary, people pay for what they use or get, whether electricity, cable TV, Internet or any electrical household appliances. They buy!
People are willing to pay as we make it available. And we will!
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping Africa, helping communities, renewable energy, solar energy, west africa
On my last visit to Cameroon (May 13-22) SunErgy, a sister company to 2 Mites entered into an agreement to the tune of an estimated 23 million USD with the Bororo Fulani (tribe). The plan is that SunErgy shall provide 100 Bororo villages or 33 000 families with solar electricity, Cable TV and Internet.
The project is fully financed by the Republic of Cameroon and the Islamic Development Bank. Banja will serve as the pilot and when successfully up and running we will move to the other villages.
The Bororo people, who used to be nomadic herdsmen, occupy many parts of Central and West Africa. Today they mostly live in smaller villages such as Banja, still active in agriculture and cattle rearing.
The picture shows (right to left) Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon Mr. Mike Fohba, initiator and manager of the project Professor Alfred Ndi and Managing Director of SunErgy/2 Mites Dr. Stein Skjørshammer standing on a future solar plant site.
Posted in 2017
- Tagged africa, business, Cameroon, electricity, energy, entrepreneurship, happy people, helping communities, renewable energy, solar energy, west africa
The pictures show the solar power station for Judith Craig`s Village for the seventy- four homeless children in Monrovia, Liberia packed and ready for shipment.
By the end of July the children will flip a switch for light enabling them to do the things you and I take for granted; school work after dark, watching television, experiencing the security of street lights, etc.; this and much more for less than 4 cents per day per child for the next thirty years. Almost for free. A true energy miracle! All sponsored and paid for by the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church in Norway.
And the best! We can repeat the same in an endless number of similar projects all around the world; giving young and old a new life and a better future.
Finally, something to contemplate; one hotdog bought in Norway at a gasoline station will bring electricity for one day to almost 150 children in a similar situation as the seventy-four children at Judith Crag´s Village.
Yesterday I returned from Cameroon from one of my monthly visits.
The main agenda this time was to visit the villages of Bokosso and Kotho 1.
In Bokosso the task was to check that things are in order and running as planned.
In Kotho 1, the next village to have electricity the job was to check status. The work is going full speed ahead with the air vibrating of expectation of things to come. People are volunteering en masse. No shortage of people wanting to help. Young and old, men and women, boys and girls; you name it, they are there!
The enclosed pictures are from Kotho 1 with the first group showing the fencing of the solar power station, Mr. Michel laying the foundation for the power station after having himself built the cement blocks seen in the background (hard manual labor) and Mr. Mike explain and inspecting the work.
The second group of pictures shows pure enjoyment at the well-deserved lunch break and the guy preparing and serving the food.