Sector News — July 2015

Administration Announces New Initiative to Increase Solar Access for All Americans, Including Actions to Scale Up Solar Access and Cut Energy Bills in Communities Across America, The White House

The Obama Administration is committed to addressing climate change, promoting clean energy, and creating good paying jobs.  That is why the Administration is announcing a new initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low- and moderate- income communities, while expanding opportunities to join the solar workforce. 

Africa has a serious energy problem. This is ironic considering the abundance of natural resources available, from coal in South Africa to oil in Nigeria. It just so happens that both of these powerful economies rely on limited, environmentally-unfriendly resources, struggling to keep up with economic growth. This might start to change.

Senegal Embraces Solar Power, Plans To Build Thousands Of Eco Villages, International Business Times

Following the lifting of a law that banned solar power in Senegalese cities, the grassroots sector is partnering with the government to implement the renewable-energy source nationwide, starting first with areas not already connected to the national electric grid. The government is working on a project to turn 14,000 traditional rural villages into eco villages — communities that rely almost entirely on solar power. So far, the government has built only 100 of them, but it plans to build 500 more by the end of 2018.

Indo-US fund set up to accelerate off-grid clean energy innovation, Times of India

PUNE: U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Secretary Upendra Tripathy signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the “PACEsetter Fund,” a new joint Rs 50 crore ($7.9 million) fund to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions.

Cameroon Trains New Generation of Clean Energy Entrepreneurs, All Africa

Yaoundé — Cameroon’s higher education institutions are training students to develop entrepreneurial businesses using solar power and other renewable energy technologies, aimed at tackling electricity shortages and creating jobs.

Why Should Climate Philanthropy Care About Energy Access?, Huffington Post

Investing in clean energy access provides a disruptive opportunity to revolutionize electricity systems and get on the right side of the politics of development – philanthropy just hasn’t realized it yet.

How Rwanda’s clinics have gone off-grid and onto renewable energy, Sun Connect

Rwanda is located in the poorest region in the world, sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, it is making advances with off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural areas that could be a model for similar economies.

Solar lighting increases night births in health facilities, Sun Connect

In places where there is no electricity to light up a health facility at night, the risk of the baby dying in a night birth is high. Karamoja, in north eastern Uganda, is one such remote facility with no light at night in most of the hospitals and clinics.

Weak Power Grids in Africa Stunt Economies and Fire Up Tempers, The New York Times

In the darkened and chilly parking lot of a mall, a suburban family huddling around a shopping cart shared a snack on a Friday evening out. After finding their favorite restaurant closed because of a blackout, Buhle Ngwenya, with her two sons and two nephews, settled for meat pies from one of the few stores open in the mall.

Green Mini-Grids for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alternative Energy Africa

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $1-million grant to launch the first phase of a Green Mini-Grids (GMG) Market Development Program (MDP) which will be implemented by the SE4ALL Africa Hub in coordination with SE4ALL’s Clean Energy Mini-Grid High Impact Opportunity stakeholder group.