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Top Stories – September 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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Top Stories – September 2016

Launch of the first-ever Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition

Refrigeration is an extraordinarily promising technology in off-grid contexts, but it also presents extraordinary challenges. A recent study found that significant improvements in the price, design and energy efficiency of refrigerators will be needed to make them truly viable in off-grid communities.

With this in mind, the Global LEAP Awards competition for off-grid refrigerators has been launched with a significant and explicit focus on innovation, offering up to $600,000 in innovation cash prizes for market-leading off-grid refrigeration technology and design.

The competition is affiliated with Global LEAP+RBF – a high-impact bulk procurement incentive scheme designed to drive and demonstrate scale in the off-grid appliance market – and commercially available winners and finalists in the competition will be eligible to participate in that program’s upcoming rounds.

The Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development initiative, the U.K. Department for International Development’s (DfID) Ideas to Impact Programme, Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global LEAP initiative.

Additional Global LEAP Awards competitions for off-grid televisions and fans will be announced in the coming weeks and months. Please visit GlobalLEAP.org or follow Global LEAP on Twitter for the latest updates.


$30 Million Expansion of US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy

Building on its strong international partnerships to accelerate grid modernization, research and deployment, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability recently announced a new Funding Opportunity for joint research on smart grid and energy storage under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R).

The US Department of Energy and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology are each committing US $1.5 million per year for five years to the expanded research effort, subject to congressional appropriations. The US and Indian private sectors will match the respective government commitments, resulting in a combined $30 million public-private research investment over the next five years.


Power Africa Launches new Partnership with Japan on Sustainable Energy Development in Africa

Power Africa recently announced a new partnership arrangement with the Government of Japan with the aim of reducing energy poverty and increasing access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa. The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) includes commitments to share strengths, expertise and resources in an effort to accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa.

Through this MOC, the Government of Japan is committing to bring an additional 1,200 megawatts (MW) of power to sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2018. The partnership arrangement represents the two countries’ shared commitment to contribute to the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular to contribute to efforts to achieve SDG 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

Additionally, through this partnership, the United States and Japan intend to collaborate on the following issues to accelerate progress towards shared goals under Power Africa:

  • Leverage investments in cleaner energy, including renewables and natural gas.
  • Advance the geothermal sector in East Africa.
  • Improve energy efficiency.
  • Support cross-border energy trade.

The initial $7 billion US commitment to Power Africa has leveraged nearly $43 billion in additional commitments from the public and private sectors, including more than $31 billion from the private sector. This new partnership builds on Power Africa’s broad coalition of public and private sector partners and will help accelerate progress towards the shared goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa – by adding at least 30,000 MW of new, cleaner electricity generation capacity and increasing electricity access by at least 60 million new connections by 2030.


Siemens Stiftung has announced the top 23 finalists of the empowering people. Award; online voting now open for the Community Prize

On October 6, Siemens Stiftung will award more than 200,000 Euros prize money to the winning inventors and entrepreneurs of the empowering people. Award which seeks to identify low-tech products and solutions that enable people to access basic services in developing regions. Embedded in social entrepreneurship models, these innovations are designed to foster opportunities for employment, thereby providing sustainable development benefits.

Two expert teams specializing in appropriate technologies for development and social entrepreneurship evaluated more than 800 entries and selected the 23 finalists. The online votes will now determine the winner of an additional Community Prize, who will be announced in October along with the top three winners at the Award Ceremony in Berlin.

Key criteria in the rigorous examination process included potential social impact, technical feasibility, functionality and reliability in local conditions as well as the potential for financial sustainability. Award winners and other promising entrants will be invited to join the empowering people. Network, a Siemens Stiftung initiative that offers on- and offline activities tailored to the specific needs of these ventures as they proceed to scale, replicate, increase capacity and develop viable internal structures. The shortlisted projects can be reviewed online.


Save the Date for the 2016 Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Humanitarian Workshop

The workshop, organized by Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) of which the Practitioner Network is a Steering Committee member, will take place on 1-3 November, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This year’s workshop will be hosted by the SAFE Humanitarian Working Group Chairs – the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – in partnership with Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The workshop will feature two days of in-depth training sessions and group discussions on a range of topics, including monitoring and evaluation, clean fuels, lighting, cooking, and powering technologies, product procurement, women’s empowerment, and connections to gender-based violence. These sessions will be followed by a day of site visits.

To sign up to receive updates on the workshop, visit here. Visit the event page on the SAFE website and follow @SafeFuelEnergy on Twitter.


Solar Powers Brighter, Greener Future for India

In India, nearly 1 in 4 people still don’t have access to electricity. Many of them live in poor communities, where the lack of electricity prevents them from living better, more productive lives. To increase energy access for the poor, India has set unprecedented, ambitious plans to boost solar energy nationwide. This World Bank video showcases the promise of affordable and reliable solar power for a more prosperous, climate-friendly future in India.