Lighting the Trans-Sahara Highway


Our international projects / Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Solar energy is gaining ground in Central Africa, especially in Chad, which benefits from high levels of sunlight (4-6 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day).   

This huge potential makes Chad a perfect candidate for photovoltaic solar power. Numerous projects are already shaping up across the country, including a PV solar power plant near the capital N’Djamena and solar PV systems for 150 community health centres. Against this backdrop, solar streetlights were an obvious choice for improving safety along a section of the Trans-Sahara Highway.

Solar streetlighting boosts social and economic development

Sustainable off-grid public lighting

Chad is undergoing development, but disparities remain significant, with just 11% of the population connected to the power grid. Rural communities are particularly affected, as only 2% of people have access to electricity, compared with 39% in urban areas. Government efforts to alleviate the shortage of power are expected to bring improvements to Chad’s most isolated regions in the future. More immediately, however, innovative solutions were needed to improve safety along the country’s roads. This is where Fonroche stepped in. Because no grid connection is required, our solar lighting technology offered the ideal solution for taking advantage of Chad’s high level of sunlight to deliver powerful, off-grid lighting year round. As a result, we’ve installed 100 solar streetlights along the Massakory-Ngouri section of the Trans-Sahara Highway, allowing local people to go about their lives more safely.

Solar lighting drives social and economic activity

The Trans-Sahara Highway crosses five African countries, including a 568-km section running between Chad and Niger. As well as improving trade links between the two countries, the highway is helping to bring life to the villages in the sub-region.  “Where there’s a road, there’s development!” (source: Tchadinfos.com). Public lighting plays a big part in boosting economic and social activities. Where there’s no conventional grid-connected lighting, for most people the day comes to an end when the sun goes down. This challenge has been easily overcome thanks to Fonroche Lighting solar streetlights. Shops and businesses can now continue their work and people can get on with their lives even after nightfall. Developed as part of a drive to speed up the social and economic integration of the sub-region, the project is contributing directly to the development of Chad.

Solar streetlights along the Trans-Sahara Highway in Chad
Solar streetlights along the Massakory-Ngouri section of the Trans-Sahara Highway

Robust, powerful and capable of withstanding variations in temperature

Chad is characterized by a cycle of alternating rainy and dry seasons, leading to significant shifts in temperatures. The days tend to be hot – reaching 43°C in May – while at night the temperature can drop to 15°C. With their robust, high-performance design and ability to withstand high temperatures as well as heavy rainfall, Fonroche solar streetlights are therefore the ideal solution for Chad.

Sources :