Solar power is about more than lighting your home… Regular access to hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning is something that most of us in the Western world take for granted. However, people in rural communities throughout the world struggle to safely and economically heat their water on a regular basis. Solar hot water systems offer a sustainable and low cost solution to this widespread issue, with the potential to bring hot water to those who do not currently have it.
Addressing climate change requires massive decarbonisation of our economy, particularly in areas such as electricity generation, transportation and agriculture. We focus on sharing knowledge on solutions to the problem as opposed to just forming the case for action.
Dilla, a city 361 km South of Addis Ababa, is one of the pivotal areas of coffee production in Ethiopia, with Ethiopia being among the greatest coffee producers in the world. With this, comes a number of challenges such as establishing reliable energy sources for coffee processing and dealing with waste by-products. In July 2011, a plan was resurrected that had laid idle for over 20 years began, which was to create the first Ethiopian Briquette Factory. This was a move meant to offer an important firewood alternative and also a way of managing coffee husks wastes, all this in the light of urbanization and population growth.
One of the largest impedement towards implementation of renewable energy in reducing emissions is their high cost. Reduction of costs of utility-scale renewable energy projects is important towards increasing the deployment and acceptability of solar and wind power projects. Renewable energy auctions, technology innovation and feed-in-tariffs are some of the methods suggested for the future and which have tried before to reduce installation and final consumer costs.
Biofuels can help developing countries reduce carbon emissions, reduce over dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy security. However, this alternative must be pursued with care to reduce possibility of environmental degradation, deforestation, food shortages and high food prices. One way is to pursue second generation feedstocks. Limiting use of some food crops in biofuel production and mapping out areas for biofuel crop production can also prove helpful.
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) launched the Green Bond Impact Report in June 2015, with detailed information about the environment and social results expected from projects supported by its green bonds. The report provides an update on the progress of the 100 green bonds (US$8.4 billion) that have been issued to support projects aiming for low carbon and climate-ready growth in IBRD’s member countries.
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is the new buzz word for member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The member states are preparing for the 21st conference of parties meeting in Paris, France later this year. INDCs are proposed post-2020 climate actions that countries publicly declare to implement, in order to assist in limiting the earth’s temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade. Kenya has once again proven to be a leader by becoming the fourth African state to publicly declare its INDCs.
GravityLight is an innovative off-grid light designed to eliminate dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps, used by over 1.3 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. The product is unique and has created a new category of lighting, which doesn’t have any batteries nor need the sun - all you need is a weight!
Adoption of biomass power generation technologies in Africa has been challenged by a variety of factors including high capital costs and lack of feedstock. However, with biomass contributing to only 5% of power production in the continent, these projects hold a promise to helping boost the much needed power in developing world. It is not only the largest biomass power plant in Africa, but Gorge Farm AD Plant in Kenya will be Africa's first anaerobic digester.
The traditional plastic bottle is associated with high carbon emissions, and that is set to change with the onset of a PET bottle made of 100% plant materials. The bottle was launched earlier this month by Coca Cola, and is set to help the company eliminate dependency on fossil fuels for production of PET bottles. Coca Cola has, through the previous PET bottle made of 30% plant material, achieved substantial cuts on global emissions and the new development to produce a 100% plant bottle is a key to sustainable packaging.
In 2007 the government of Rwanda established the NDBP (National Domestic Biogas Program) in partnership with SNV (The Netherlands Development Organization) and GIZ (The German Development Organization) as financial and technical support partners. The objective of the program was to develop a commercial and sustainable domestic sector, substituting firewood with biogas for cooking and increasing agricultural production through provision of bio-slurry as a fertilizer.