Diesel Power Generators in the Developing World



Copyright © 2007 Will Gruver

Many third-world countries are interested in portable power generators, because electricity can significantly impact quality of life and commercial opportunity.

Even in countries not known for their modern technological civilizations, the public is becoming more and more reliant on electricity to keep them connected to the modern world. Some parts of the world such as Africa, South America and Central America have been running behind the technology curve for years. But, recent investments in their infrastructure has made it entirely possible and far more common for the average person in these regions to have access to the modern technologies that the residents of North America and Europe have taken for granted for decades.

Since the 1980’s, South America has come to be the home of four of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world, including the two largest on the list: 1) Itaipu, 2) Guri, 9) Muxoto, and 11) Tucurui. The development of these four dam projects in Brazil, Paraguay, and Venezula has helped launch an unprecedented growth in electric availability in South America. Both Guri and Moxoto are already running at maximum capacity, and Itaipu is quickly approaching its own maximum rated power production level.

Now that residents of these South American nations have become accustomed to always having electric power available to them, brownouts at peak usage periods are going to be even harder to stomach. Unfortunately, since they are running at near maximum output already, these countries are going to have to take steps to increase production to match the ever-increasing demand for reliable power sources. This is the reason why backup power generation systems are becoming more popular in the many third-world countries.

Individual commercial enterprises and municipalities are taking steps now to ensure that their operations will not be significantly impacted when the hydroelectric power generation systems finally reach their maximum power output.

Other third-world countries do not seem to have built the infrastructure they need to power them through the 21st century. In these cases, a fleet of portable power generators may be seen as a workable solution to the increased demand for reliable electric power.

The Internet has brought the need for electric power to the forefront as many third-world governments have seen the prosperity that Internet access can bring to their populations.

Although nobody truly has any idea what the future may hold, dozens of third-world countries have discovered the freedom and commercial prosperity that a reliable power grid can bring to their part of the world. Power generator companies are being invited to many third-world countries to present their wares to the governments of the region. Going forward, it appears that everyone is getting on the bandwagon of investing in a reliable electricity power grid to power economic growth.

There is also a growing market for remote, redundant, and portable power solutions.
As some of the desert regions of South American and Africa sweat through another sweltering summer, the threat of brownouts, blackouts and the increasing risk of damaging storms, a growing number companies have decided to buy their own backup power generators. 

Overall, sales of back-up generators have been increasing by at least 15 to 20 per cent for the past few years. In areas such as South Africa, where workers mine for diamonds in remote regions, sales of portable backup generators have been on the upswing.

In the Middle East and North Africa regions, expansion of the power sector is also advancing at an unprecedented rate. Bahrain in particular is experiencing a rapidly growing demand for electricity. In response, the government has announced it will privatize the power and water sector in five years, causing a buzz of excitement in the industry. Bahrain offers genuinely exciting opportunities for international and national industry professionals to further their aims in this rapidly expanding power market.

Bahrain is a trendsetter in the Middle East as far as their investment into infrastructure and a commercial base outside of oil. In recent years, Bahrain has even become the headquarters for the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), prompted in large part by the investment Bahrain is making in their national power infrastructure.

When people in the United States think about portable power generators and the idea of back-up power supplies, they tend to think of hospitals, hotels, and large events like football games.

But honestly, power generators can help out any business or organization that cannot, for commercial and legal reasons, afford to put itself at the mercy of the public power grid. It’s one thing to have the power go out in your hotel room or on Christmas evening. It’s quite another to have dialysis machines fail or gas pumps cease to function. This is the reason why there has been a noticeable increase in the purchase of power generators for smaller businesses, and an increase in sales to the domestic market with people wanting to add backup electric generators to their homes.

The trend to add backup power generators is particularly clear in parts of the world where the power source is unreliable. In desert regions, the strong winds and sand storms can sometimes trigger power outages. Electricity networks in Africa tend to lack the redundant infrastructure to survive even the slightest glitch. In areas where civil war is a constant threat, the danger of terrorist strikes on energy infrastructure is always an issue to be considered.

More and more people are getting accustomed to having power generators to provide back-up power to ensure against disruptions to the regular electric supply from the electric power grid. Furthermore, numerous companies are using the stand-by generators, and placing more and more importance on reliability in this electronic age.

There is a growing number of people who support the development of a portable and distributed power industry that will continue to work, even if the public sector does make the investment into their power grid infrastructure. Many people around the world, even some in Africa and Latin America, would prefer to pay a little extra for power if that extra cost could ensure a more dependable power supply.

Even if government funded infrastructure never materializes, there are still plenty of private sector opportunities in the alternative energy market. The demand for electricity won’t be destroyed if the centralized infrastructure projects never materialize. Instead, the demand will continue to be strong regardless of the public sector infrastructure. If the public sector fails in its promises, it will simply have set the stage to create a more dispersed or de-centralized power supply that may be served by more remote and portable power solutions.

About The Author:

Written by: Will Gruver of US Power & Environment. USPE's Eden Prairie, MN headquarters, assisted by in-house product technical and operations specialists, has the experience gained from supplying, installing and maintaining on-site energy systems across the country and around the world. They buy, sell, rent and repair natural gas and diesel power generators. To learn more, visit their website at: http://www.uspowerco.com or give them a call at: 877-772-6018