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.

Recovering energy from waste can power Africa

Production of electricity from waste has the potential of providing up to 83.8 TeraWatt hours, which is about 20% of the electricity needed in Africa by 2025. This is according to a study co-authored by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. However, this requires stringent waste management policies to be put in place, and today Africa lacks the adequate infrastructure needed to install these environmentally friendly methods.

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The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2014

WWF International and Cleantech Group partnered to release the second report, in a biennial series, on where the likely leading entrepreneurs in clean technology will emerge from over the next 10 years. The report is a ranking of each countries inputs into innovation, such as investment by governments and the outputs of innovation such as the commercialization of new clean technology. The report uses interesting metrics to map out the growth cycle of a clean tech startup for each country.

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Rwanda: Biogas in prisons saves millions of dollars

It’s been 21 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, such devastating tragedy there are always losses in most areas of a country life. One of the biggest issues was that there were almost 100,000 prisoners in prisons who were all waiting for their trials. There have been a lot of environmental issues related to the prisons’, one being that the wood from neighboring forests was used for cooking to feed the prisoners, which was accelerating deforestation until the time Rwanda Correctional Service started using biogas. 

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Watered By Sunlight

Less than 2 per cent of the Kenya's agriculture is irrigated, largely due to the prohibitive cost of equipment and diesel. This leaves farmers extremely vulnerable to drought and puts the country’s food security at great risk. The Sunflower water pump hits all the right environmental notes - running on clean and renewable energy. It retails at around USD 400 which, in comparison to its diesel-fuelled counterparts - costing roughly USD 2,800 - is a near night and day difference. Furthermore, as there are no fuel costs, the initial investment can be recouped in 1-2 years. As such, Sunflower presents a compelling economic case.

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Ambient water on Mars?

Keith White is the founder and CEO of Ambient Water, an atmospheric water generation technology company providing solutions that produce water from the humidity in the air. Its flagship systems include the Ambient Water 400, which is capable of producing up to 1,500 liters of clean water per day. Angela McClowry from Cleanleap, recently interviewed Keith to discuss atmospheric water generation and its role in a cleanleap.

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An off-grid solar power system - providing reliable continuous power to industries

Conversion of sun energy into an electric current is one thing, getting your factory equipment to use that power is another. As larger firms continue to accept solar power alternatives, they will need to consider equipment that can generate enough clean power for heavy machinery. To support industrial activity, solar power outputs will need to align to expectations of supporting current industrial machine use which often uses 3-phase A.C power

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'Liters of light' shining in Cameroon slums

A common characteristic of informal settlements in Cameroon is the lack of indoor lighting during the day. To carry out any productive activities, households have to turn on the lights – for those who can afford electricity - or use kerosene lamps or candles adding to their electricity consumption and accompanying energy-related expenses as well as indoor air pollution. This gadget is an innovative passive lighting technology based on a transparent plastic bottle filled with clean water. It is fitted into the corrugated iron roofs of houses without ceilings.

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Kenya’s Solar Clean Leap-Africa’s Largest Solar Car Park at Garden City Mall

Garden City Mall, Nairobi Kenya opened in September, and sports the largest solar carport in Africa, a move that will assist in reaching the country's goal of cutting carbon emissions by around 745 tonnes annually. This solar carport will use "dual-mode" technology which is a highly innovative energy solution that provides solar energy during the day with the result that less is used from the grid; and when the grid is down the system also reduces the consumption of costly diesel back up and enabling significant cost savings. 

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Rwanda Partners With Kenya To Overcome Electricity Shortage

Rwanda is undergoing power shortages as their hydroelectric plants are not sufficient to fulfil the current energy demands. This is due to an increase in investment in the region with new businesses setting up, and also due to the impact of climate change on reducing water supply for the hydro power plants. The Government of Rwanda is quite aware of this situation and seeks for long-term solutions, signing an energy agreement with Kenya. The Government of Rwanda is also developing more renewable energy projects to become self-sufficient. 

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A new shift in pushing renewable energy agenda in Africa

While development of better innovations and technologies hold a promise to lowering the cost of and thus acceptance of alternative renewable power in the society, various international government-led initiatives can help accelerate and popularize adoption of these alternatives, through policy changes, funding and pulling various partnerships.

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