Availability of reliable, low-cost energy is the cornerstone of economic development and is a primary limiting factor for many developing countries.  We share knowledge on an energy sector which is undergoing massive change with new technologies that will provide cheaper, more accessible and cleaner energy.

Northern Pakistan making a Cleanleap with off-grid solar

The provincial government of  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has an ambitious solar energy plan to electrify over 5,800 homes in 200 different villages.  The plan is part of a government-backed project called the Green Growth Initiative, founded by Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan.  In a country like Pakistan that faces blackouts lasting 4 hours a day in rural areas that are connected to the grid, the answer seems obvious– the traditional centralised energy system is failing rural communities, can off-grid be any worse?

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Extracting energy from air - is this the future of fuel?

Researchers in the UK and US are working on new techniques to create fuels like methanol, diesel and even petrol  from the atmosphere around us - the key component being used is CO2. Bloomberg has a light overview video  of the work being done by a UK company called Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS).  The process involves pulling in air and extracting the CO2 component (.04% of our atmosphere and rising).  

 

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In Defense of CCS

I was the community manager of the Global CCS Institute for over three years.  I have to admit, that I didn't know much about the technology when I started but as a pragmatic green nerd, the general concept appealed to me.  The truth is that there are thousands of coal fired power plants around the world right now ...

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7 great commercials about the environment

After six years working on VideoSift, I've seen many excellent public service announcements (PSAs) for environmental causes.  You might not think that a simple commercial spot has much to do with Cleanleaps, and yes,  they sometimes can be self-serving, bordering on greenwashing ...

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A cost analysis of hydropower

Hydropower or hydroelectricity is an established renewable energy technology that also may be quite low-cost. Although hydropower requires a steep investment to develop, dams in particular have a long lifespan and generally can produce consistent power over many decades. Consider that the Hoover Dam in the US Southwest has been in service since 1935 ...

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The global Cleantech 100 keeps getting more global

The Global Cleantech 100, now in its 6th year released by the Cleantech Group, is a list of the top companies in this space worldwide.   The Cleantech 100 is no longer just a list of companies from places like the United States, Germany and Japan.  Emerging markets are seeing the benefits of clean technology and some of the leading companies in the world are starting to come from emerging markets like Kenya

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New fuels for transport: the cost of renewable solutions

Although there is a great deal of focus on using renewable energy to replace grid power systems, there has been less analysis on renewable energy usage for the transport sector.  This cost report from  the International Renewable Energy Agency provides an outlook on decarbonising this important sector by 2020.  The report focuses primarily on  biofuel and electric, battery-powered vehicles.

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Scenarios and strategies for Africa

As this report from the Intertnational Renewable Energy Agency notes at the beginning, Africa makes up 15% of the global population but has only 5% of the global energy usage.  The worry for analysts and policy makers is that as the population of Africa increases, and development brings African energy usage to a level comparable to the rest of the world ...

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