General characterisation of the solar radiation components in Mozambique

Boaventura Chongo Cuamba, Manuel Chenene, Gilberto Mahumane, D. Quissico, E. Vasco, Phil O'Keefe, Jørgen Løvseth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Just as with the other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, Mozambique faces severe and interrelated problems of energy and environment linked with the massive consumption of fuel wood biomass. The conventional power grid provides less than 7% of the energy needs for the country's 17 million inhabitants, and about 83% of the energy consumed in the country comes from biomass. Areas around the major urban centres and along the main development corridors are the most affected by energy shortages. This hinders the country's economic and social development as it is generally acknowledged that no development can be sustainable without linking it to energy planning and environmental management. Renewable energy resources can play an important role in the process of development of the country. From the vast renewable energy resources available in the country, solar energy represents one of those with the highest potential. Thus the evaluation of the potential of solar energy systems in small-scale applications suitable for villages is a strategically good starting point for promotion of a sustainable rural development. One of the major impediments in carrying out such studies is the fact that the exact behaviour of solar energy resources throughout the country has not been well studied yet. In this paper a general characterisation of the global, diffuse and direct solar radiation fields in Mozambique is presented. The study is based on experimental data measured by the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) in the period 1970-2000. Data from 11 stations recording global solar radiation, from 6 stations measuring diffuse solar radiation, as well as data from 80 sunshine hours stations have been used for this work. For this purpose the country has been divided into four main climate zones. The northern and coastal regions, representing 60% of the total surface of the country, have a tropical rain savanna climate. The inland parts of the central and southern edimentary terrains, with a share of 28%, have a dry savanna climate. A small area around the border crossing of the Limpopo River, representing 2% of the country's surface, has a dry desert climate, whereas the upland areas, with a share of 10%, have a humid temperate climate. Results of the present work reveal that the country has substantial solar energy resources for a variety of solar energy technologies. Areas with the dry savanna and dry desert climates, representing in total around 30% of the country's surface are particularly appropriate for dense placement of solar energy technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Solar World Congress 2005
EditorsD. Y. Goswami, R. Campbell-Howe, S. Vijayaraghavan
Place of PublicationBoulder
PublisherAmerican Solar Energy Society
ISBN (Print)9781622762637
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventSolar World Congress 2005: Bringing Water to the World - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceSolar World Congress 2005: Bringing Water to the World
Period1/01/05 → …


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