Africa needs to invest in more mini grid and off grid solutions to provide more people with power and support economic growth and social transformation, so says Africa Progress Panel - led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Traditional methods of supplying power are unreliable and experience many challenges, with mini grids and off grids as modern methods can help bridge that gap. Their demand is increasing and costs decreasing.
Is Kenya about to lead not only Africa, but the world, in terms of smart cities and combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and LEDs to make smarter, more environmentally friendly, communities? It may well happen. Kenya, as part of Africa, often gets lumped in with the general impression of lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and innovation, but that’s set to change as the country leads the race to utilize new technology-rich ecosystems.
In Kenya 17.3 million people lack access to clean water with water borne diseases like diarrhea and Cholera being the leading cause of death for children under five years. But a group of women have found a low cost method of purifying water, which is now backed by science - embracing seeds from the wonder tree Moringa oleifera.
Kenya is a first in many a renewable energy innovation. The latest addition to this space is a solar-powered motorbike, a prototype of its kind in the transport sector. With the innovation of rural transportation interfacing with renewable energy, a lot of benefits are set to be realized in the rural transportation and trade sectors.
Energy Africa Indaba was held on February 21 to 22 in Sandton, South Africa and set to catalyze development of energy sector in Africa. It brought together political leaders, experts in energy, and stakeholders from all around the world. It saw its first ever Youth Energy Innovator exhibition and launching of the energyDRIVE initiative, in addition to the panels, keynote addresses and energy agreements reached at during the event. It also hosted the third annual Women in Energy conference.
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.