East Africa will soon get its largest wind power project - the Lake Turkana Wind farm

Lake Turkana Wind farm

Mobilizing of support from private entities into renewable energy generation in Africa has always been a challenge as the investors shy away from spending on technologies and projects that guarantee uncertain returns.  This has had a big impact on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are related to power/energy generation.  The Lake Turkana Wind Power farm is one example of how this is changing.

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A Smartphone HIV & Syphilis Diagnosis Kit In Rwanda - A Cheap Cleanleap!

Smartphone dongles used to perform HIV and Syphilis diagnosis

A team of researchers, led by Samuel K. Sia, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, has introduced a new cheap mobile microfluidic chip that can complete an immediate diagnosis of three simultaneous infectious diseases in only 15 minutes! From a single finger prick, the dongle can perform a tri-plexed immunoassay not currently existing in a single test format, the diagnosis includes: HIV antibodies, treponemal-specific antibodies for syphilis, and nontreponemal antibodiesfor an active syphilis infection.

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Automated weather stations in Africa: fighting the effects of climate change

TAHMO weather station

The Kenyan Meteorological Service with the TU Delft/Oregon State University are working on a project Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) to develop a solid network of automatic weather stations in Kenya. The project intends to create a technological solution through a cost effective network of hydro-meteorological measuring stations that will map and predict water and weather in the region.

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Brace yourself - the Cold Chain is coming

Great Wall, China

The good news is the improved deployment of cold chain technologies will dramatically decrease food waste in emerging economies. The bad news cold chains will increase emissions due to the refrigeration process - leading to greater climate change. New technologies are being developed to make cold chains more efficient - absolutely critical as they rapidly increase around the world.

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Will a space-based fusion reactor power the entire Earth?

Although renewable energy is moving forward on many fronts like wind, hydro and marine energy, it's solar energy– and specifically the photovoltaic panel variety – that is showing the most progress and potential for becoming the dominant source of energy on Earth.  This article discusses a few reasons why solar panels may eventually dominate fossil fuel and other renewable resources:

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Water conservation technology helps fight food insecurity in Northern Ghana

In Northern Upper East Ghana, a water conservation technology is enabling about 400 smallholder farmers from 10 communities to farm in dry seasons.  As a result they are now getting at least two crop seasons annually as opposed to one, after implementing the PAVE irrigation Technology which harvests flood and rain water, and stores it in underground aquifers where it lasts for up to 180 days. 

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Pico-hydro a new source of energy in Rwanda

In Rwanda, a ‘Pico-hydro’ refers to a power system with a capacity less than 50kW. Their advantage over other power systems is their cost-effectiveness and simplicity, and come in different designs, planning and installation processes. It is an economical source of power that has proven useful in delivering clean energy to some of the world’s poorest and most remote places.

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Solar milling machine to ease grinding systems

Whether they are consumed as grains or flour they are always products in high demand in Africa - these being cereals such maize, sorghum, millet and wheat. One of the issues with these widely consumed crops is when people want to grind them and consume them as flour, with most remote areas lacking access to electricity and therefore use expensive fossil fuel to run milling machines. 

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Earthen floors can really make it in Rwanda!

Better housing is one of the key indicators of the economic development, but most developing countries still have a challenge to secure clean homes for their habitants. Dirt floors are often responsible up to 80 percent of diseases. In most cases, parasites live in soil in form of feces and bacteria that can be contagious by either absorption or a simple contact. EarthEnable has introduced a solution to all those problems.

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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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