New fuels for transport: the cost of renewable solutions

Although there is a great deal of focus on using renewable energy to replace grid power systems, there has been less analysis on renewable energy usage for the transport sector.  This cost report from  the International Renewable Energy Agency provides an outlook on decarbonising this important sector by 2020.  The report focuses primarily on  biofuel and electric, battery-powered vehicles.

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Where are we at with renewable energy?

Light bulbs

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report provides the state of play for renewable energy around the world.  It is a comprehensive report but also a straightforward read to understand where we are at in terms of deployment of renewables.  I've highlighted some of the key sections to read in relation to emerging economies around the status of deployment distributed power and financial spend.

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China wind energy outlook

China dominates the world of wind energy manufacturing (turbines) and output.  In 2014 China installed over half of all the wind capacity on the Earth.  To most eyes, China is racing against time to replace polluting coal and fossil fuel infrastructure with clean wind and solar power.  

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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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