At the bottom of our oceans and buried deep beneath permafrost surrounding the arctic circle is a vast store of methane – a natural gas produced by the anaerobic decomposition of millions of years of organic matter. Estimates vary but even conservative figures suggest there may be over a thousand gigatonnes of methane precariously stored as ice crystals under high pressure and low temperature.
Some 120 Km North-West of Nairobi, a group of Kenyan engineers work tirelessly to drill as many wells as possible at the Olkaria Geothermal Plant. Located right in the central part of Kenya; a region considered as one of the most exciting geothermal prospects in the world, it is the first geothermal power plant in Africa. The facility is in Hell's Gate National Park on the eastern edge of the Eastern Rift Valley. At this rate the engineers are drilling more than forty wells in a year. Each well has the capacity to produce 18MW of energy annually.
A debate that focuses only on fossil vs wind / solar oversimplifies the energy sector and discounts the drivers for why countries make energy decisions– namely available resources, energy security and existing capital investments. One result of this shortsighted view is that hydropower is often left out of the discussion. As our mission at Cleanleap is to share knowledge on clean technology in emerging economies so projects are deployed more effectively we think its important to focus on hydro.
Ethiopia has a defiant will to stand out. This will extends to its efforts to become a world class developer of clean energy sources like wind power. Ethiopia has become a major exporter of energy in the region and has embarked on a journey to harness its clean energy with a goal of producing over 1.3 million megawatts of electricity from wind.
Water is one of the great human challenges of our time. As an essential resource for human life, it is staggering that so much of the world should exist without the basic potable water and sanitation services that we know in the developed world. Making a Cleanleap in urban water management practices could facilitate greater access to water for millions of existing city dwellers in developing countries.
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.
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.
Research undertaken by Greentech Media (GTM) predicts that over the next five years, the global solar market will demonstrate a cumulative average growth rate of around 8%, with emerging economies including India and Latin America leading the progress.