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Sector News — January 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

News

Sector News — January 2016

Why clean energy is now expanding even when fossil fuels are cheap, the Washington Post

The latest evidence that 2015 was a breakout year for clean energy is in, and it’s particularly telling. In a new analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that 2015 was a record year for global investment in the clean energy space, with $ 329 billion invested in wind, solar panels, biomass plants and more around the world. (The number does not include investments in large hydroelectric facilities).


IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees Campaign Raises $33.4 Million (EUR30.8 Million) for Renewable Energy Sources for Refugee Families, Penn Energy

IKEA’s global campaign has raised $33.4 million (EUR30.8 million) for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide light and renewable energy sources for refugee families living in camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.


IDF to continue its move ‘off the grid’ with solar light installations, the Jerusalem Post

The IDF is taking the next step in going “off the grid” with a project to install 550 high-intensity solar-powered security lights at army bases in central and southern Israel, the SolarPower company announced on Wednesday.


Rise of the mini-grids: Solar projects are lighting up households beyond reach of main electricity grids, the Economic Times

For Mithilesh Kumar of Pachlakh village in the agrarian heartland of Bihar, it was a question of pratishtha or prestige. In a rural milieu it matters.


Rwanda: Firm to Invest Rwf37 Billion in Lighting Up Rural Homes, All Africa

At least 250,000 households could soon get access to electricity, thanks to a new deal between the Government of Rwanda and Ignite Power Ltd, a Mauritian firm engaged in large-scale deployment of clean energy solutions in Africa.


World Bank, Nigerian Banks, Others Plan Solar Power For 1m Nigerian Households, Leadership

The World Bank, International Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with some Nigerian banks and energy companies have established the Lighting Africa project, aimed at connecting over one million vulnerable households in rural communities in the country to off-grid electricity, using solar energy over the next five years.


Opinion: World at tipping point for renewable energy, by Adnan Z. Amin and Fatih Birol, CNN Money 

The world has reached a tipping point: Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are now the solutions of choice, with other options taking second place.


Solar-powered lights stem sex assaults in Somalia, CBS News

Chatting women sitting outside makeshift homes at night is a new scene in a once-dark refugee camp in the Somali capital. In a city where darkness brings the threat of attack, recently installed solar lights are helping to ward off sexual assault.


Solar irrigation pumps benefits more than 6000 farmers in Bangladesh, News Bharati

More than 6000 farmers benefitted from installation of 300 solar irrigation pumps in Bangladesh. The project was taken under the second rural electrification and renewable energy development project (RERED II) which aims to increase access to clean energy in rural areas of country.


Energy Storage Moves from an ‘Emerging’ to ‘Emerged’ Technology, Renewable Energy World

Energy storage is no longer an emerging technology, Audrey Fogarty, VP of product management for energy storage integrator Younicos, said on Dec. 8.


Battery-storage cost seen going down 85% in 5 years, Business Mirror

Belgian solar-project developer Enfinity N.V. said on Friday that the cost of battery storage is expected to go down by as much as 85 percent in the next five years. This projection, if and when it happens, will strategically position solar power as a low-cost option in the country’s power mix and will likely end the country’s power woes.


Smarter renewable power: six innovations, the Guardian

Innovations are helping renewable energy become more accessible, powerful and effective. Emma Howard lists six inventions that are changing the sector.


Lighting up Africa: the UK’s plan to expand access to energy, the Guardian

New UK international development minister Nick Hurd wants to boost off-grid solar power in the only region where those without access to modern energy is set to rise


Big money for energy in Africa must be spent on small producers, the Economist

A recent US$10bn pledge by developed countries to boost renewable-energy expansion in Africa is good news, but the funds must be spent wisely in order to deliver empowerment rather than just power, argues Aaron Leopold, global energy representative at Practical Action, an international development charity.


4 Ways in Which the Solar Distribution Market Differs Between East Africa and Central America, Sun Connect News

To date, the majority of energy poverty alleviation and solar distribution efforts have been focused in Africa—primarily East Africa. 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to reliable electricity (WEO 2012). The majority of these people reside in the African continent, where the rural electrification rate is only 24% (WEO 2012). With high population density and an extremely high instance of off-grid households, it makes perfect sense that the off-grid solar market got its start in East Africa around 10 years ago. Non-profit SolarAid, which distributes through its social enterprise SunnyMoney, has sold almost 1.8 million solar lights in Africa since its founding in 2006 (SolarAid). Greenlight Planet and d.light, founded in 2007 and 2006, respectively, industry leaders in the product design space, have also maintained a strong distribution focus in East Africa.


Climate change: Private sector investments for developing countries and emerging economies, responsAbility

According to current forecasts, global energy requirements are set to increase by more than 30% by 2040, with the additional demand being driven 100% by non-OECD countries. (1) Measures to ensure the more efficient use of energy and the increased production of renewable energy in emerging economies and developing counties are therefore of key importance in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With its targeted investment products, the Swiss asset manager responsAbility Investments AG is opening up this growth market in which there is strong demand for private sector investments in emerging economies and developing countries.


MicroDahab to Lend Solar Powered Water Pumps Under New Microfinance Initiative, PR Newswire

Dahabshiil Group showcase sustainable ‘green microfinancing’ initiatives to foster economic and social development across Somali region. MicroDahab MFI, a microfinance subsidiary of Dahabshiil Group, has announced a collaboration with SolarGen Technologies to create the first ‘ijarah thumma Iqtina’ (‘lease to purchase’) sustainable energy product in Somalia. The initiative will enable clients to own a solar-powered water pump which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for farmers and other small business owners to buy.  MicroDahab’s potential for success is due, in large part, to making greener financing decisions informed by real knowledge of what is happening in climate-affected places.


Lessons learned in scaling a social enterprise to solve energy poverty, MaRS

On November 19, MaRS Mornings welcomed Jason Gray, the co-founder and CFO of SunFarmer. Jason didn’t start out to be an entrepreneur, but by following his interests and playing to his strengths, he evolved into one. Starting off his career with Cargill, Jason learned lots about executive management, but couldn’t find passion in the work. He moved to MNP, working with diverse clients before moving to Sun Edison, where he was the first Canadian employee of the young US startup. Through SunEdison, Jason had his first taste of startup life and was finally in a sector he cared deeply about.


Solar Power to Light Up Syrian Refugee Camps in Jordan, Green Tech Media

The U.N. is seeking stronger ties with the private sector to roll out more clean energy projects. The Azraq refugee camp is located on a bleak stretch of desert in northern Jordan. The camp is currently home to 28,000 Syrian refugees, but is built to host nearly double that amount and could soon see a massive influx of residents as the conflict in Syria drags on.


Public school powerless no more, gets solar lights, Sun Star Cebu

SOME children of Calbasa-an Elementary School and some households in the highlands of Barangay Camp 7 in Minglanilla are finally seeing some light. At least 110 solar-powered lights (SPLs) with battery packs and solar panels were delivered recently by the Philippine Army to the school.

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