Solar Power Spurs Community-Based Development

Solar power Maasai

Can nations in Africa and other parts of the developing world leapfrog over the use of fossil fuels and go straight to renewable energy sources? Understandably, the focus in rural development settings is often on generating centralized electrical capacity through renewable energy. Through the use of solar powered technologies, rural farmers can live healthier lives, create efficiencies to reduce their hard physical labor and create food security year-round.

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Lighting up Africa: A Clean Leap Business towards Self-Sustenance

Biogas drawing

(B)energy, a Social Business that provides access to biogas, is a clean leap that has embraced change through an innovative, entrepreneurial, technical, and ecological approach. According to Katrin, the best way to bring change in a developing or poor country is through social change. (B)energy came into existence with the intention of solving energy problems in developing countries, and in the process offering people a chance to make a living as they conserved the environment.

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Making body soap from recycled oil in Cameroon

Washing face

Municipalities in developing countries are increasingly producing solid and liquid wastes. The management of those waste are relevant because of their impact to the environment and health. For instance, disposing waste in surrounding areas become vectors for the development of diseases, and they contribute to produce lixiviates which are already infiltrating into the water table. In addition, solid waste accounts for 5% of the total GHG emission. This becomes an environmental issue that has to be resolved.

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Recovering energy from waste can power Africa

Municipal solid waste in the furnace

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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Croton plant offers some hope for biofuel enthusiasts

The Croton tree, which is commonly known as Mukinduri in Eastern and Central part of Kenya, is now a good known source of biofuels and that is being practiced. It grows in a challenging environment and unlike jatropha and palm, it won't bring food and fuel competition. It has no chemical additives and burns cleaner than traditional diesel fuel, with no sulfuric content. It can save our environment from carbon emissions and help in better land usage.

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Using lean data to improve the solar power sector

Many companies use traditional methods to measure the impact of solar power investments such as quoting the many dollars invested, number of people using their kits and areas covered by their product, which are inadequate tools for measuring social impact for solar power investments if we have to get it right. Traditional approaches of gathering data are not only expensive, take time to give results and complicated to use, but are also not helpful in terms of boosting solar power funding. The lean data approach proposed by Acumen could, not only bridge solar power funding gaps in developing worlds, but will also help companies to understand emerging markets.  

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