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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Economic growth, plunging PV prices and an improving business ecosystem could spark the long-awaited takeoff of off-grid renewables in sub-Saharan Africa (...) An increase in private sector involvement is widely seen as essential to unlocking Africa’s potential in off-grid renewables. Bhattacharyya sees a place for both governments and NGOs, but unhesitatingly hands the lead role to commercial organisations.