Tenesol provides a sustainable energy future
In 1983, Tenesol responded to the urgent need of drinking water in the Sahel desert area of Africa. Its humanitarian work for basic needs such as water was done through a highly advanced solar energy system, the only resource capable of generating electricity that is required for pumping water. Because of its response and work in Sahel, the company became experts on solar water pumping and power supplies for remote places like deserts where water is scarce.
With years of experience under its belt, today Tenesol franchises rural electrification programs in Morocco, Mali and South Africa. The company has two shareholders, Total and EDF. It has supplied photovoltaic electricity to more than 7,000 homes to date with many more in the foreseeable future.
The company has a wide group of employees worldwide that create a database of knowledgeable professionals in the company. “We have 1,000 employees worldwide, 19 subsidiaries and two manufacturing plants. One in South Africa and one in Toulouse, France,” says Fabien Gouzil, Director of Tenesol.
Sustainable energy in Africa
Tenesol’s approach to providing energy in Africa is based on sustainable development. The company wholly promotes the generation and deployment of renewable energy in Africa and beyond. Its photovoltaic technology is state-of-the art and has seen much success in the energy market.
Photovoltaic energy is literally the generation of electricity by converting sunlight. This is done by using photovoltaic cells that enable the generation of clean energy. In the 1990s the use of solar photovoltaic technology started to increase with the invention of grid connection capabilities. Grid connection enables energy which is created by the solar photovoltaic generator and converted to an alternating current, to be transferred back in the public electricity grid.
Connecting to the grid is cost effective and it permits the generation of electricity to be dispersed. Grid connection is a main player in the growth of photovoltaic technology and is being used by more businesses and individuals around the world.
Tenesol uses both on-grid and off-grid applications for their solar energy initiatives. “You use each for different types of businesses. On grid is for building farms and for people to power their own electricity. We mainly sell it from our own solar farms,” says Gouzil.
With on-grid applications generated energy is injected back into the global grid. An off-grid connection, or application, is when energy that is generated is used on site for supplying an installation or system with power.
On-grid connectivity can be used for businesses pertaining to agriculture, industrial buildings, private and public commercial sites, ground mountain systems and individual domestic equipment. Off-grid connection is often used for telecommunication, on and off shore oil and gas, solar pumping and water heating.
Solar photovoltaic technology is generated from the sun and is highly environmentally sound in its practice. Gouzil says, “There are no CO2 emissions and the modules only need cleaning once a year. When you are on grid there are no batteries required because it is all solar.”
With the environment as a core part of its business, Tenesol is also a part of the PV Cycle association for the recycling of photovoltaic panels.
Company growth and current projects
In recent years, the growth of the company has increased and Tenesol is forseeing even more expansion. “Business is definitely increasing. We are expecting more than 50 per cent growth this year and next year 30 to 40 per cent more growth,” says Gouzil.
Some of Tenesol’s biggest projects are the solar farms it has built. The company also operates its own solar farm and sells the electricity that it generates to various companies.
The company is regarded for its quality control and its continuous growth and improvement with production lines for photovoltaic modules. Its client support is vital to the business.
Tenesol has a research and development centre where an experienced team works on the state-of-the-art solar technology. The main goals of Tenesol’s research and development teams include advancing Tenesol’s technology by working with organizations and research laboratories. The team’s goal is to also continuously improve upon the company’s already stellar products. These improvements include life span of products, cost and performance.
Its overall goals for the company include making solar energy affordable in the marketplace. The company aims to give everyone the opportunity to choose solar energy instead of alternative methods of energy.
The company has an internal training centre that is very important to the core of their business and the value the company put on its employees. Its niche market makes the company are educational and great place to work for employees as they gain a distinct set of skills that sets them apart. “We have our internal training centre so people can grow inside the company,” says Gouzil. We are in a very specific market and you don’t have a lot of people who do what we do. When we train them they have a direct advantage of a knowing about a distinct market.”
With the number of notable projects Tenesol is working on, and its commitment to the environment and the community, its work is making a real difference in providing solar energy. Not only does Tenesol promote a sustainable lifestyle, it provides rural communities with sustainable energy. The company is doing noteworthy work and with the amount of growth and emphasis on this sustainable, highly revolutionary practice, it will continue to offer this remarkable service to the world.