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Sector News – October 2015 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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Sector News – October 2015


SMS texting is helping solve Africa’s health infrastructure problem, GE Reports sub-Saharan Africa

The African continent carries 24% of the world’s disease burden, but only spends 1% on health expenditures and houses only 3% of the world’s health workers. That gap in spending typifies the development conundrum facing the region: even as the media reports extensively on the proliferation of innovative mobile tech and commerce in sub-Saharan Africa, traditional infrastructure and the healthcare system lags far behind.


 

Education needs electricity – photovoltaics guarantees teaching, Solar 23

SOLAR23 installs PV stand-alone systems for power supply in case of power blackouts and extends additional PV facilities in a university in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.


 

An integrated, sustainable fix is key to solving Africa’s energy woes, the Conversation

Two out of every three Africans – a staggering 620 million people – do not have access to modern energy. And lack of modern energy is just one of many challenges in the Global South to sustainable development. It is abundantly clear that integrated solutions are required.


 

Tanzania and the price of success, SolarAid

The off-grid energy market certainly looks a lot different today than it did just a few short years ago. When SunnyMoney first started selling lights in early 2009 there were around 40,000 on the market. The last Lighting Global figures taken from Dec 2014 suggest that figure stood at around 7.2 million, and that’s not including sales in the last 9 months or those vendors selling non- Lighting Global-approved lights.

 


 

Solar Panels Improve Health Care in Rural Zambia, All Africa

Africa is a continent with abundant sunlight but has poor electricity grid coverage. Yet access to electricity is essential to run medical facilities and secure access to health care, especially in remote areas. According to a World Health Organization study covering over 4,000 clinics and hospitals, about one in four health facilities in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had no access to electricity in 2013, and most facilities with access had an unreliable supply. Diesel generators have traditionally powered off-grid facilities and also served as back-up power sources in grid-connected health facilities. But these struggle with both high fuel costs and unreliable fuel delivery.


 

Impact investments and social enterprises, India Investment Journal

In recent years, impact investing has gained momentum and can be recognized by synonyms such as value based investing, socially responsible investment, sustainable investing, patient capital, mission driven funding, blended value and so on. This is further validated with studies revealing that 125 impact investors worldwide reported plans to increase impact investing commitments from $10.6bn in 2013 to $12.7bn in 2014 [GIIN, 2015], $1.6bn impact investments in 220+ impact enterprises in India [Intellecap 2015] and plans closer to home – India’s MUDRA Bank announcing financing for “unfunded entrepreneurs” with loans of $800-$16,000 (INR 50,000 to 10 lakhs). All these and many more point to the growing importance of investing today in nurturing environmental, social and economically sustainable solutions.


 

‘Pay as You Go’ Solar Power Rewriting the Book, Huffington Post

Sustainable Development Goal 9 is “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.” Rather than seeing its sole focus as industrializing those areas in “developing countries” without access to electricity, running water or broadband Internet, this new goal should be about rethinking how we all understand infrastructure, and industrialization itself.


 

Solar energy for education, Norwegian Refugee Council

Eritrea’s Ministry of Education and Norwegian Refugee Council are partnering to provide young students with access to computer studies by using solar energy.


 

Powering-up to go off the grid, The Sunday Independent

In the little agricultural town of Droogfontein in the Northern Cape a quiet revolution is under way. And, fairly soon, one of the first renewable energy projects initiated by independent power producers will ensure that the town, situated near Kimberley in the Sol Plaatje Municipality, goes completely off the national grid – making this a first for South Africa.


 

80 percent of rural households in Bihar have almost zero access to power, Business Standard

In the latest report from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the mobile phone subscriber base in India recorded 6.71 per cent Year over Year growth to 980.81 million users in Q2 2015. But the access to electricity in Bihar, that has 89 per cent of rural population, is alarmingly low.


 

Demand for portable solar across building and residential market, Cape Business News

“The way power, and portable (solar) power in particular, is consumed has changed,” says Paul Hubers, founder and director, Sungrid Group. “We are seeing an increase in demand, particularly across the building and residential estate market where the use of diesel generators is either not allowed or simply no longer the preferred option due to environmental concerns.”


 

Taita village says goodbye to kerosene, welcomes solar, Citizen Digital

Two years ago, 27 year old Gladys Mwangae delivered a healthy baby girl. Eight months later, her baby, Faith Mwake, contracted a respiratory infection, which kept her in hospital for two months. “We have been in and out of hospital until July this year. It has been a painful experience to be admitted with her and being away from home,” Mwangae, a mother of three explained. Medical examinations showed that baby Mwake was exposed to and inhaled poisonous kerosene lamp fumes.


 

Uganda gets Shs40 billion for rural electrification, Daily Monitor

Ministry of Finance and the German Development Cooperation have signed a Euro 10 million (about Shs40billion) grant meant to finance electrification program for rural communities.



In Mali, Renewable Energy Boosts Agricultural Production, Care2

More than 77 percent of women in Mali live in rural areas, according to the 4th general population and housing census (RGPH 2009). Although they have very little control over resources, including land and credit, they represent 49 percent of the active farming population and are behind 70 percent of food production.


 

India May Set Up National Renewable Energy Certification Lab, Clean Technica

The Indian Government may be considering to set up a national lab for testing, standardization, and certification of renewable energy systems and projects.


 

Powering change: Can rural electrification close the gender gap?, International Growth Centre

New evidence from a rural electrification project in Peru suggests that access to energy may be an effective tool in closing the gender gap, affecting both wages and occupational choice.

 


 

Total Cameroon: More than 90,000 Awango solar lamps sold each year, Business In Cameroon

Total Cameroon, Cameroonian subsidiary of the French Oil and Gas Company, upon reviewing its Awango solar lamps sales, said they were “a phenomenal success”. According to the firm, more than 90,000 of these lamps are sold yearly in Cameroon, through its fuel stations network.


 

Can new SDGS really impact last mile communities?, Press Release

The Smart Villages Initiative publishes policy brief showing that off-grid renewable energy and technology leapfrogging can catalyze sustainable development in world’s remotest and poorest regions.

 


 

No phone signal in a disaster? Solar network ‘in a box’ to the rescue, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Pakistani researchers have developed a portable, solar-powered mobile phone network for use in disasters like floods and earthquakes when regular communications are often disrupted. Researchers at the Information Technology University (ITU) in Lahore, together with a team from the University of California, have developed a prototype “Rescue Base Station” (RBS) for Pakistan – the country’s first emergency telecoms system that would work on normal cell phones.


 

Solar power is booming in India. Will it reach the people who need it most?,  Vox

The sun is shining on India, and India is poised to take advantage of it, with massive investments in solar energy facilities to help meet the needs of a population that is expected to grow to make it the planet’s most populous nation by 2022. But will the power go to the people who need it most?


 

CONNECTING WORLD’S POOR TO CLEAN ENERGY COULD SAVE US$27 BILLION AND OVER 1 MILLION LIVES, the Climate Group

Over the past two years, 60,000 rural villagers in four states in India have been connected to affordable, solar powered energy by international non-profit The Climate Group, as part of an innovative program that could be extended to save as many as 1.5 million lives a year by cutting indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps.


 

10 things a company needs to know about the market at the base of the pyramid, BID

Seventy percent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean – more than 400 million people – live on less than $10 a day. Even though their income is low, this segment of the population still demands goods and services, and represents a market of $760 billion per year. Hundreds of pioneering companies see opportunities in this market to do profitable business while improving the quality of life of low-income people. But where should they start?


 

Next Big Thing In Bangladesh — Solar Irrigation Pumps, Clean Technica

If you have any interest in the off grid solar space, you would certainly be aware of Bangladesh’s success in promoting solar home systems. At the last count, the country had installed over 3.8 million solar home systems since 2003. Scattered across the country, these systems generate a total of 135 MW of electricity and benefit over 13 million people. And Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), which started the SHS program in 2003, has no plans to slow down, and is looking to finance 6 million of the systems by 2017. The organization is a non-bank financial institution created by the Government of Bangladesh to finance infrastructure and renewable energy projects in the country.