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Top Stories – February 2017

Sustainable Energy for All Forum announces first round of 2017 speakers

The 3rd Sustainable Energy for All Forum has announced its first round of speakers that will address this year’s summit, featuring an array of high-profile leaders from government, business, civil society and international organizations who are all helping accelerate progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Names in the recent announcement include: Maroš Šef?ovi?, Vice President of the European Commission; Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, ENEL Group; Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC; Patrick Oliva, Senior Vice President for External Relations – Sustainable Mobility and Energy Transition, Michelin; Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC and co-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy; Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute; Radha Muthiah, CEO, The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves; Dr. Harish Hande, Managing Director of SELCO India; Mahua Acharya, Assistant Director-General and Head of the Knowledge Solutions, Global Green Growth Institute.

This year’s Forum, held April 3rd – 5th, is set to attract over 1,000 high-level representatives from government, business, civil society and international organizations, all gathering at the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn, New York to celebrate the global sustainable energy movement.

Several new reports and announcements around access, renewables and efficiency will be made throughout the Forum, including the release of the latest edition of the Global Tracking Framework.

Additional keynote speakers will be announced in the coming days. You can stay up to date with these speaker announcements, and all program developments, by following the Forum on Twitter at @SEforALLorg and #SEforALLforum.

If you would like to attend the Forum and have not yet received an invitation, please email Forum@SEforALL.org to register interest. Practitioner Network members are invited to register via this link.


Nigeria Bank of Industry Announces Funding for Mobile Pay-As-You-Go & Solar Micro-grids

As part of its Green Energy Project with the UN Development Program (UNDP), Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) recently launched a 1 billion nara (US$3.1 million) off-grid solar energy fund. The bank will lend and/or invest the fund’s capital on favorable, concessionary terms to qualified businesses installing mobile pay-go and other forms of off-grid solar energy systems and services across the country, according to a news report.

In making Green Energy Project investment decisions, BOI will concentrate on financing projects carried out by micro, small and medium-sized Nigerian businesses that intend to provide home solar energy services in rural areas of the nation, where the large majority of those without grid access reside.

Africa-focused private equity firms in Q4 of 2016 invested over $60 million in Nigerian mobile pay-go solar provider Mobisol and Netherlands-based Lumos Global, which is selling emissions-free electricity services from solar-storage microgrids in Nigeria. Nigerian MNO MTN is Lumos’s partner in offering mobile pay-go home solar energy services via MTN Mobile Electricity. Installed in customers’ homes, automated, wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communications see to usage monitoring, billing and performance.

UNDP joined with BOI to launch the bank’s Green Energy Project (Access to Renewable Energy) in 2011. In May 2016, the two partners announced the completion of a 24kW solar microgrid and home solar energy service for a rural, Edo State community. BoI and UNDP intend to employ the same model in rolling out community solar micro-grids and home energy services in other rural communities in Edo State. In total, BoI invested some N240 million to finance construction of six pilot off-grid home solar energy services projects in 2016.


Tata Power Solar hits 1GW PV module shipment milestone

Major Indian firm Tata Power Solar, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, has become the first Indian manufacturer to achieve the 1GW milestone in terms of PV module shipments worldwide. The figure was achieved over a period of 27 years, although 60% of the shipments came in the last five years alone. Tata modules have now been shipped to more than 30 countries.

While Tata benefits from being a vertically integrated manufacturer, other Indian domestic manufacturers have had a tough time competing with lower priced modules imported from China over the last few months. Furthermore, the Indian government’s annual budget offered no new support for PV manufacturing. Tata Power, another Tata Group subsidiary, is also getting close to generating 1GW of solar power, with its wind assets having already surpassed that milestone figure. Tata Power also recently received INR120 billion (US$177 million) following a private placement by Welspun Renewables, which it acquired in September 2016.


Samsung India Launches Solar-Powered Refrigerators & Air Conditioning Units That Cool 43% Faster

Samsung India has launched a new line of refrigerators and air conditioners that are tailor-made for Indian conditions. Samsung’s new refrigerators run on solar power, while the new range of air conditioners cools 43% faster.

The new refrigerator and air conditioner range combines great design and advanced technologies, enabling faster cooling, power conservation and durability. Solar power compatibility in the new line of refrigerators will go a long way in energy conservation, in line with the government’s efforts to promote solar power.

Samsung’s smart convertible refrigerator is the first of its kind in frost-free category to run on solar power as well as on home inverter, giving convenience of cooling and freshness to the consumer during power cuts. The digital inverter compressor optimizes usage by minimal wear-and-tear and extends the life of a refrigerator by over ten years. With low noise level, the smart direct cool refrigerator can withstand voltage fluctuations ranging from 100 volts to 300 volts.