The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has an ambitious solar energy plan to electrify over 5,800 homes in 200 different villages. The plan is part of a government-backed project called the Green Growth Initiative, founded by Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan. In a country like Pakistan that faces blackouts lasting 4 hours a day in rural areas that are connected to the grid, the answer seems obvious– the traditional centralised energy system is failing rural communities, can off-grid be any worse?
Researchers in the UK and US are working on new techniques to create fuels like methanol, diesel and even petrol from the atmosphere around us - the key component being used is CO2. Bloomberg has a light overview video of the work being done by a UK company called Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS). The process involves pulling in air and extracting the CO2 component (.04% of our atmosphere and rising).
The amount of food we waste is a growing issue worldwide, especially with population growth and the shrinking availability of water and arable land. One way to combat food waste is the use of effective packaging. What type of packaging that is needed varies where the food is wasted along the supply chain, and this depends on what market the food is grown in. The Save Food Initiative produced two reports, Global Food Losses and Food Waste, and Appropriate packaging solutions for developing countries.
Our mission is very big but straightforward: we want to help create more Cleanleaps - particularly in the emerging economies of Asia and Africa. The way we’ll do this is by sharing knowledge online from some of the world's most important companies, NGOs, governments, universities and interested citizens in clean technology.
A recent article from the Economist says getting the digital economy going for many countries is about addressing “friction points”. Friction points are what holds a country back from achieving a digital economy - things like slow internet connectivity, intellectual property protection issues and the lack of press freedom.
We all like to do our bit for the environment. We recycle, use kitchen waste to make compost, use reusable shopping bags, etc. These are all done in an attempt to decrease the usage of our planet’s resources and to reduce pollution. However, there might be more than you can do without even setting foot out of your home. When it comes to energy consumption, temperature regulation is one of the highest costs. We heat our homes in winter and cool them in summer.
One of the most exciting ventures a country and its cities can undergo is that of modernizing and redeveloping its buildings. The progress made is almost always positive, and literally can give cities a new face. Major infrastructure projects in Vietnam are not so slowly transforming the city for the better, upgrading various aspects ranging from transportation to water treatment and infrastructure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.