Scaling Solar to help make solar power much cheaper for emerging economies

Image courtesy Scaling Solar

With solar power becoming a bankable alternative to fossil fuels, focus turns on how it can be made more cheaper, especially with large-scale power projects that hook to national grids. Scaling Solar wants to do that and is starting with two solar power plants in Zambia -- by helping companies, governments and financiers through the power agreement processes, financing, bidding, project management and contract-related issues.  

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The Legacy Of Nitrogen

Lake Victoria Algae

In late 2004, Kisumu bay, Lake Victoria, was covered in a blue-green hue.  The algal bloom  - a proliferation of cyanobacteria – demarcated an area of low oxygen and eventually decomposing algae, causing fish to suffocate or flee and contaminating the drinking water- a dead zone. Adapt-N, a software programme developed by researchers at Cornell University seeks to solve this problem.

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The Lake Turkana's Wind Power Project is a big leap to Kenya's off-grid energy efforts

Lake Turkana Wind power Project

Wind power in Kenya contributes only a small amount of the country's electrical power. However, its share in energy production is increasing. Kenya aims to generate 2,036 MW of wind power, or 9% of the country's total capacity, by 2030. With the project expected to match approximately 18% of the current national grid electricity-generation capacity, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project shall become a renewable energy gem in the East African continuum.

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Try flying in a biofuel-powered plane

SSA tobacco fueled plane

Last month, South African Airways and Boeing celebrated flying the first-ever plane in Africa to be fuelled by biofuel from tobacacco. Project Solaris aims to produce local cleaner biofuel to power planes in South Africa, whilst providing local jobs. It means the aviation industry is also set and able to use biofuels, a measure that will help lower carbon-emissions. The South African Airways project will also produce biodiesel for cars and for other industries.

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The Africa Food Prize - Helping Small Farmers

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.

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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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