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.
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.
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.
Most developing countries lack enough power supply in rural areas for at least the basic usage such as lighting, phone charging, TV, radio, etc. Though many African countries are discovering the potential that they have by being positioned in a great sunny region, and governments are now capitalizing on the development of renewable energy projects, and the corporate sector has realized the latent business opportunities and they can make a positive impact to different communities. The government of Rwanda has invested a lot in solar power projects to help the community living in remote areas to access power.
Home solar kits remain an important strategy in powering rural homes given the challenges of distributing power via grids. With rural areas characterized by low income groups and scarcely dispersed populations, grid power cannot reach everyone. Kenya will be banking on additional home solar kits to connect more homes as announced in the just concluded 6th Annual Global Economic Summit in Nairobi.
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!
Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes that contain such dangerous gasses that can cause a sudden release. Due to the high methane gas volume in Lake Kivu, the Government of Rwanda has decided to step up in this large-scale methane gas extraction from the waters of Lake Kivu and use the gas to generate electricity that will be sold to the Rwanda electricity utility and it will be added to the national grid power sources.
The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) resonates of nothing but patriotism and deep commitment of Ethiopians towards achieving clean energy for their country. Since the inception of the dam in 2010, there have been a number of issues but the project is now moving ahead at full steam.
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.
Sanitation and water treatment in the developing world is set to change with the onset of the Omni Processor. The Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation have decided to invest in a machine that turns sewage into drinking water and can also generate energy. Just as importantly it is relatively low-cost, making it a technology that can be rolled out quickly in emerging economies.
The Pew Charitable Trusts launched a report Power Shifts Emerging Clean Energy Markets in May, tracking the investment in renewable technology in developing countries. The report provides some great statistics on where investment is occurring, predicts future growth and examines in detail the top spending in the 10 leading developing countries, which includes Kenya.