Israeli minigrid innovators, Nokia to drive rural electrification in Asia


Israeli mini-grid company Aquarius Engines have announced a mass rural electrification partnership with Nokia to provide minigrids in remote areas of the Philippines, and other Asian countries currently without grid-fed or off-grid power.

The initial offering will see Nokia deploy Aquarius’ two-sided Free piston Linear engine (FPLE), essentially a significantly redesigned single-stroke internal combustion engine, which can be powered by gas, diesel or petrol.

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The microgrid generators will be deployed in remotely populated areas and telecommunications centres across Southeast Asia. Initial field tests will begin in remote communities, schools and medical clinics, providing access to power, water filtration and refrigeration.

Aquarius Engines forecasts over €250 million ($279 million) by 2022 due to the new partnership.

The project will use Nokia’s global operations centres, communications, IoT, and analytics, the solution will anticipate and adapt to changing circumstances in real-time, and will be implemented in stages, with the initial deployments on remote islands in the Philippines.

“We are proud to announce that the Aquarius Generator will bring power to the powerless across Asia with the help of Nokia. This is one huge step towards lighting-up corners of the earth where people have not yet been privileged to live with power until now. The Aquarius Generator is so lightweight and easy to maintain that it could rapidly change the lives of millions of people in a very short time – as we begin global distribution” said Gal Fridman, chairman of Aquarius Engines.

“Nokia’s partnership with Aquarius Engines brings mission critical power for communications, and reliable and efficient management of remote microgrids. This initial project provides affordable, manageable power to rural and remote locations. The Aquarius Engines technology enables us to open huge markets that were once totally off-limits. We will have the ability to supply power to those residing in extremely isolated areas such as remote islands, high in the mountains or deep in the jungle. This could be a major game-changer for global power distribution” said Stuart Hendry, Vice President of Nokia Enterprise, Asia Pacific.

The energy transition is a hot topic disrupting the utility industry in Asia and will be a key focus at Enlit Asia which takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia from 23-25 March. For more details click here.