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Top Stories – August 2015 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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Top Stories – August 2015

Power Africa’s Off-Grid Energy Challenge: $1.1m awarded to African clean power solution firms

In Africa, 11 companies across Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia have been awarded a combined $1.1 million to expand their renewable energy solutions to communities who are currently living off-grid.

The grants, which have been awarded by GE Africa in conjunction with the US African Development Foundation (USADF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will see each winner receive up to $100,000, Power Africa said in a statement.

The awards were announced during President Obama’s visit to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.


World Bank: clean energy is the solution to poverty, not coal

In an article posted in the Guardian, Rachel Kyte, World Bank’s special envoy for climate change, stated that more than a billion people globally still live without power, which makes them unable to take full advantage of opportunities to run a business, provide light for their children to study, and to cook their meals. The World Bank plans to achieve the development on energy distribution by ending fossil fuel subsidies, and urging governments to provide clean energy to people.

The bank will also focus in primary areas such as building cities with low carbon and climate resiliency; pushing climate-smart agriculture; speeding up energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy, including hydropower; and developing carbon pricing to increase the cost of emissions.

But the plans depend on how economic growth could be separated from carbon emissions, Kyte said. “We have to keep economies growing to bring shared prosperity for all, but we also have to bring down greenhouse gas emissions.”

The solution, she stated, would be the set of policies and programs supported with the new technology and new thinking. The approach, if combined with political will and financial support, could help poor populations “get the energy they need while accelerating a worldwide transition to zero net carbon emissions.”

In addition, the World Bank plans to provide “green bonds,” the investments targeting low carbon and climate resilient growth in countries. Kyte said there are already 100 green bonds in 18 currencies, raising the equivalent of $8.4 billion.


 

Indian Cabinet nod to US pact for setting up ‘clean energy’ fund

India’s Union Cabinet has given its approval  to establish a “Pace Setter Fund” within the parameters of its US-India cooperation. The fund will comprise INR 50 crore, intended to help catalyze the commercialization of off-grid clean energy solutions, particularly focusing on innovative approaches.

“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation to establish the Pace Setter Fund,” an official statement said.

The report further states that “The signing of MoU will help accelerate commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions by providing early-stage grant funding, which would allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, systems and business models, it said. The MoU will help cooperation through technical and commercial innovation and advancement of clean energy in off-grid space. The India-US corpus of about Rs 50 crore (USD 8 million) has been drawn on a 50:50 sharing basis.”