We believe that business-led solutions are essential to meet the energy needs of rural populations living in developing countries. We curate and share links related to: renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy entrepreneurs, microfinance, impact investing, business development, solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, phone-charging, briquette and cookstoves small businesses, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan countries.
AlphaMundi Group is proud to announce the beginning of collaborations with two companies which provide energy solutions in East Africa. As a part of the collaborations, Fenix International and SolarNow will receiveinvestments from AlphaMundi’s Social Alpha-Bastion impact fund to finance the next stage of their growth.
GVEP International engages with entrepreneurs, management teams, and project developers through a variety of donor-funded and commercial investment activities. We manage and cooperate with other providers on programmes which support enterprises and projects focused on increasing access to clean energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. These programmes provide business support as well as access to finance across the capital spectrum (grants, debt and equity).
To help us better understand your business or business concept, and identify ways we may be able to support you, please fill out the form below. We will review your submission, and if there may be potential to work together, we will get in touch.
Please note that only submissions for projects based in Sub-Saharan Africa will be considered at present.
Indoor air pollution emanating from open fires or leaky cookstoves is the fifth-largest health risk in the developing world, according to the World Health Organization. Massive deforestation caused by households collecting firewood is also a huge problem. The use of so-called "clean cookstoves" - stoves that use clean fuel such as natural gas, or cut down on solid fuels such as firewood - is being touted as a way of combating indoor air pollution and deforestation. Aid groups met in Kenya's capital recently to fine-tune promotion efforts.
The researchers behind the study, Rema Hanna of Harvard, and Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone of theMassachusetts Institute of Technology, expected to confirm the health benefits of the $12.50 mud-based, chimneyed cookstoves installed in Orissa. In laboratory experiments, clean cookstoves have been shown to release fewer pollutants and burn more efficiently than traditional cooking methods. However, such tests can’t predict what will happen in the real world. That’s where a well-designed randomized trial is irreplaceable.
Based on case studies and analysis, this report recommends policy actions under three headings to achieve universal energy access while maximizing the contribution of decentralized and renewable energies: improving policy and planning by governments; enabling private sector and community action; and coordinating action at the international level. With these policy recommendations as a guide and with support from the international community and global institutions, the report demonstrates that it is possible to expand access to energy in a different way that contributes to the achievement of the MDGs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Another speaker, Josiah Omotto who heads Umande Trust, touched on a popular theme for the day: Toilets. Who can do without them? But what forward thinking people like Omotto are doing is using human waste and turning it into biofuel. Each of us produces on average 300 grammes of waste per day; Omotto’s organisation has designed a bio-digester system that produces safe cooking gas and alternative sanitation systems.
The use of appropriate renewable energy such as solar products can give less developed rural areas the chance to benefit from modern technology. Magdalene Nganzi comes from a rural village in southern Uganda that has no access to grid electricity, yet thanks to solar power, she enjoys all the amenities that an urban household would.
The phone was invented by telecommunications company Safaricom (owned by the UK's Vodafone) and Kenya's Mobitelea Ventures. It is fitted with a charger that absorbs and stores energy directly from the sun. Users do not need a mains connection to charge their phones, nor do they have to travel long distances to the nearest shopping centre to pay for the same service.
The Tanzania Renewable Energy Association will conduct the National Renewable Energy Day in Dar es Salaam on the 6th and 7th June, 2012. The event will consist of two major parts, exhibitions and workshop. In addition, there will be a Study Tour to visit the best practice installation of renewable energy technology.
The African Development Bank has established a Fund to absolve the risk of SME funding on the continent. The Fund takes on 50 percent of the risk of commercial banks in lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, according to the AfDB.
Given the importance of the financial industry in shaping the world’s response to climate change and the rapidly increasing global demand for new energy solutions, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management decided to develop its course on Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF). Now we are proud to present our two Summer Academies for 2012 within the new framework of the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance (the Centre).
How can the microfinance sector in Africa increase access to energy? This report summarizes the results of the Energy Links Project, a three year pilot by the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International. Energy Links aimed to determine how the established microfinance sector in African countries can address energy poverty by increasing access to small scale clean energy solutions at the household level.
Ten million low-income people living in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, will gain access to low-cost solar energy by 2015, in part due to a commitment made by solar energy provider Barefoot Power to the Business Call to Action (BCtA).
The BCtA is a global initiative that encourages private sector efforts to fight poverty, supported by several international organizations including the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Al Jazeera interviews Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes - a biotech company based in Denmark. He talks about green technologies, biofuels and government policiese. In Mozambique, Novozymes used its technology to create jobs. Novozymes is recruiting between 2,000 to 3,000 farmers to teach them a special kind of agroforestry in which they produce different crops. Farmers produce cassava that is sold for cash and is transformed in bioethanol used for cooking stoves to replace charcoal.
1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to public electricity networks and are thus “off-grid.” They use lamps that burn fossil fuels, mostly kerosene. In the process, 77 billion liters of kerosene are burned every year and 190 million tons of CO2 are emitted. These lamps are not only dangerous and hazardous to health but also uneconomical and harmful to the environment. To stop this trend, Osram has developed a sustainable lighting solution for regions without power grids. In April 2008, a pilot project was launched on the banks of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Osram built solar-powered energy stations (O-hubs) where residents can recharge batteries for energy-saving lamps, lights, and other electrical devices like mobile phones and radios at low cost and with low impact on the environment. Using a pawnbroking system, Osram furnishes the residents with the necessary lighting products (O-lamps or O-boxes) that require no connection to a power grid. The only thing they have to pay for is charging up the batteries. The advantages are many: Thanks to the O-hubs, an hour of light costs much less than lighting with kerosene. What's more, the new lights and lamps are brighter, safer, healthier, and much more eco-friendly than the formerly used fossil-fueled lamps.
According to the Renewable Energy Policy of 2007, Uganda has considerable unexploited renewable energy resources for energy production and provision of energy services. They include biomass, geothermal, large scale hydro, mini/small/micro/Pico hydro, wind and solar energy with total electrical capacity to generate 5, 300MW. But only 13% has been exploited.
Still, incentives are weak. Political will for energy expansion is in short supply, especially as glitches in existing infrastructure drain public funds. This suggests that significant funding for energy projects will need to be sourced internationally, but current donor-led international financing is not without its share of pitfalls. Liberia comes to mind (as discussed in my last post on clean energy), as does South Africa.
“We talk with the bank or microfinance institution to encourage them to lend to the entrepreneurs,” said Collings, chief operations officer at Global Village Energy Partnership, a non-profit organisation that tries to harness entrepreneurship to open up energy for the poor. The main challenge is sourcing the start-up capital to purchase the solar panels. “Persuading banks and microfinancing institutions has not been an easy task for GVEP. Despite this challenge, there are steps ahead being made.” Hopefully, this and other organisations will make a visible change and the technology will spread around more as from the examples it is visible that it can become a running change in all Africa.
It is important for East Africans to opt for solar energy to save time spent on firewood collection, save money, reduce work load for women and children and manage the environment because trees are protected and smoke that causes respiratory diseases is not produced.
In advance of the World Economic Forum on Africa, Sameer Hajee, CEO of Nuru Energy, discusses the need for a new approach to energy poverty.
To start the discussion, let me debunk a few myths that we have come across in the past four years:
Myth: The base of the pyramid (BOP) should enjoy the same access to electricity that we do in the developed world.
Reality: In an ideal world, this would, of course, be the ultimate solution. But let’s face it, access to grid electricity for the majority of rural Africans is a distant proposition, and there are insurmountable costs and logistical problems. If we want to address the issue immediately, we need to start focusing on hyper-local solutions that get people access today (tonight!).
Five leading innovators were named the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2012 Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum on Africa from May 9-11.
Among them is Sameer Hajee from Nuru Energy Group. With many homes in sub-Saharan Africa not connected to electricity grids, Nuru Energy works with micro-entrepreneurs to disseminate its Nuru LED light, which can be recharged using an off-grid, pedal-powered platform. The LED light gives up to 26 hours of light and costs one-sixth of kerosene to recharge. To date, Nuru Energy has set up 70 village-level entrepreneurs who have sold 10,000 Nuru lights.
Based on Eight19’s Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) technology, the Indigo solar home systems have been deployed in South Sudan in order to evaluate the performance of the new solar technology in the challenging environmental conditions that are found close to the equator.
Nous sommes donc arrivés à Rabat mercredi dernier, et depuis nous avons beaucoup travaillé sur la partie « énergie » d’Africa Express, particulièrement sur le programme national d’efficacité énergétique dans les bâtiments, et tout dernièrement le chantier de la centrale solaire de Ouarzazate, qui sera en 2014 la plus puissante du monde avec la production de 500MW.
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