What is a Cleanleap?

A Cleanleap is a combination of two concepts: clean technology and leapfrogging.  

By its nature, clean technology has a low environmental footprint.  Examples include wind and solar energy or improved farming and waste management to protect the local environment.  

Leapfrogging happens when new technology is rapidly implemented by skipping multiple generations and going directly to the latest version.  Most examples are from emerging economies, such as African countries with very limited infrastructure going directly to mobile phones or advanced payment systems for banking.

Put together - a Cleanleap is about rapidly jumping ahead in technological development with minimal environmental damage.  We leap over environmentally damaging and ineffective technologies and go directly to better ones.

Cleanleaps are happening at an increasing pace all around the world.   Some of our favorite stories include

  • Making your own energy in Kenya.  For your typical Kenyan, access to energy is a big issue.  Now they are starting to get better control of their energy situation and the result is cleaner and more cost-effective.  M-KOPA provides solar home units that people can buy through pay-as-you-go payment plans.   M-KOPA added 60,000 customers in only 18 months and rapidly changing how people power their homes and their lives.
  • The new silk road.  China has more high speed rail than the rest of the world put together and will soon be doubling its capacity.  The number of riders has gone up five-fold since between 2007 and 2012.  Basic public transport was difficult in China a few decades ago, now it has the world’s first magnetic levitation line which is also the world’s fastest and also the longest rail line in the world. 
  • The sportscar that might change everything.  Why can’t an energy efficient car look cool?  and drive itself? and maybe even change to whole energy system?  Tesla’s electric car features autonomous driving and can compete in a drag race with a Lamborghini.   Even more transformative - its battery technology .might solve some of the energy storage issues that renewables face and accelerate the Cleanleaps happening in the energy industry.
  • A whole city of Cleanleaps.  Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is one of the most ambitious initiatives in the world in relation to more effective energy and water consumption and smart transportation. Masdar has the largest solar power plant in the Middle East and two carbon capture and storage projects.  Housing organisations such as IRENA, Siemens, General Electric and Mitsubishi it is testing new climate change solutions that can be applied around the world.


Our goal is to simply  increase the number of Cleanleaps like these around the world.  We do this by finding the best ones and sharing the expertise on how it’s been done.  Topics such as climate change, energy and food are complex and the solutions aren’t always easy, but we have a specific approach that will help to bring the best knowledge insights on clean technology together in one place.