During the 1990s almost all infrastructure in Rawanda was damaged. In the past few years, however, Rwanda has made significant progress to recover its economy and solar energy is starting on the path to what could be a fantastic Cleanleap. One of the big stories is the work from GigaWatt Rwanda Limited in developing the first grid-level solar electric generating plant in the East African region.
We are producing an ever increasing amount of waste, including a large amount of plastic waste that is going straight in our oceans. A recent study estimated plastic waste produced by 192 coastal countries in 2010 was around 275 million metric tons (MT), with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT of this waste entering the ocean. Can our oceans absorb all our CO2 as well as this much plastic? Recycling plays an important role, both in conserving our precious resources and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
Technology advancements tend to trickle down making life easier. Kenya has made leaps in enhancing their health service delivery to ensure their citizens benefit in the health sector. These advancements include a medley of several innovations, from developing apps, using cloud computing for data collection, to the promotion of smart phones.
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.
The Africa Food Prize is an annual monetary prize of $100,000 given to an organization, or individuals who are making a real difference to African agriculture. The prize encourages the use of technology and innovation in food production and looks to make an improvement to food security.
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.