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Member Highlight – December 2015 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

News

Member Highlight – December 2015

Practitioner Network members receive Momentum for Change award

Practitioner Network members and Power Africa partners Azuri Technologies and Mobisol Prepaid Energy were among 16 winners of the prestigious United Nations’ Momentum for Change climate change award, alongside practitioner network member Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). Azuri’s PayGo system uses mobile phone technology and solar power to bring clean energy to people across sub-Saharan Africa. Mobisol’s Smart Solar Homes help low-income residents in Rwanda and Tanzania pay access solar power via a monthly installment plan. SELF has showcased the use of solar drip irrigation to build the income of women farmers in Benin.


Practitioner Network members named GSMA’s new Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund grantees

Practitioner Network members d.light, Devergy, SNV, Gham Power, SunCulture and Village Infrastructure Angels (VIA) were recently named grantees for GSMA’s Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund. These twelve new grantees will test and scale the use of mobile technology to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services. Further details on the new projects are outlined here, and more information on the rest of GSMA’s grant portfolio can be found in their Catalogue of Grantees.


Off Grid Electric raises US$25 million funding round, enabling it to expand to Rwanda as a second market

The funds will be used to continue Off Grid Electric’s goal to provide power to one million homes in Tanzania by 2017, and will also allow it to expand into Rwanda. In Tanzania, Off Grid Electric claims to have achieved the highest solar adoption rates in the world, with customers able to access a reliable energy source for less than US$0.20 per day. They report their solution provides customers with 50 per cent more light per day than traditional energy sources.


Greenlight Planet launches Sun King Pico™, a solar-powered light priced at only $8

Greenlight Planet Inc., a leading global provider of affordable solar-energy devices for off-grid homes, announced the launch of the ultra-affordable, $8-retail Sun King Pico. Cost savings are only one reported benefit of Sun King Pico:  The solar-powered lantern provides six hours of constant bright white light, three times brighter than that of a kerosene lamp.  When the battery runs low after six hours, the built-in digital microchip switches the lamp to its “low-power mode,” providing additional hours of backup light through the night.


EarthSpark International featured by the Economist

A new film from the Economist showcases Earthspark International’s first solar micro-grid in Haiti, alongside TESLA and others as part of the move to distributed energy. To assist their work, you can make a donation here.


M-Kopa Closes $19 Million Round

M-Kopa secured funding from Generation Investment Management for the wider development of its off-grid leapfrog model in East Africa. M-Kopa’s pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model has already reached more than 750,000 people in Africa. The equity investment of $19 million from London-headquartered Generation Investment Management will assist M-Kopa’s aim of reaching one million homes in East Africa by 2017.


Lighting Africa program continues to grow impact

Since running its first pilot projects in Ghana and Kenya in 2007, the joint IFC-World Bank Lighting Africa program has been catalyzing markets across the entire supply chain to meet energy access challenges. Lighting Africa has expanded to 10 additional countries and enabled more than 17.3 million people in the region to access clean, affordable, and safer energy sources. It aims to reach 250 million more people by 2030. Lighting Africa is currently building upon on one of its earliest successes in Kenya with “Lighting Kenya II”, which includes $850,000 in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Since its start in 2007, when the off-grid market was nascent, the use of solar lighting products has grown significantly. Now, close to 20% of Kenyans are using some type of solar lighting product.


Foundation of non-profit Solar Fountain to improve basic supply infrastructure in developing countries

Siemens Stiftung and Practitioner Network member Solarkiosk AG have jointly founded Solar Fountain gGmbH in Germany. At the heart of this non-profit venture for basic supply infrastructure is a solar-powered kiosk that produces environmentally-friendly electricity, filters contaminated raw water, and offers a range of everyday products. The kiosks will be run by micro-entrepreneurs contributing via their business activities to local development. The partnership between the two organizations began in 2013 when Solarkiosk was recognized as the winner of the Siemens Stiftung “empowering people award”. The competition awards prizes to technical solutions that achieve a sustainable improvement in the basic services of developing regions. The expertise and experience of both partners is now being combined in Solar Fountain gGmbH to jointly strengthen the supply of basic services in developing countries.


ADB TO SUPPORT EXPANSION OF OFF-GRID SOLAR SYSTEMS IN INDIA

The Asian Development Bank is administering a $6 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund to help install more off-grid solar home systems in rural India. The loan will help Simpa Energy India Private Ltd. finance 75,000 additional solar systems for both homes and small businesses next year. Simpa Energy has installed almost 15,000 solar home systems in India, mainly in Uttar Pradesh state where the electrification rate is low, according to the statement.


Niwa announces worldwide release of the “world’s first modular TV” solar system

TV X3, the “world’s first modular TV Solar System”, combines Niwa‘s unique upgrading technology with the most energy efficient high quality LED TVs. In an effort to break down the entry barrier of a TV solar systems, Niwa has conceived of a unique patented upgrade approach to significantly lowering the price, and make information, entertainment and culture affordable and accessible for all. As a plug and play device, TV X3 is easy to use and does not require technical skills. The highly affordable starting package ‘TV X3’ and its modern LFP battery technology allows customers to enjoy a 2 hour TV runtime at first. They may then progressively upgrade and double or triple the runtime via a low cost ‘Energy Upgrade X3’ package. 


 

SheerWind: Investor Opportunity to Impact Expanding Global Growth

SheerWind, the developer and licensor of the patented INVELOX wind funnel technology, is seeking growth funding to meet expanding global demand for its clean, affordable electricity systems. Funds will be used to meet increasing global demand for commercialization and delivery of its INVELOX technology. SheerWind is successfully executing its strategy of licensing its patented INVELOX technology worldwide. Five global distribution Hubs have been licensed to date: China, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the Middle East, each with multiple INVELOX projects in development for 2016–17 totaling over 337MW. Accredited investors can find more information on this opportunity at www.SheerWind.com/investor or by emailing invest@sheerwind.com.


Innovation: Africa completes 100th solar installation

Innovation: Africa has just installed a solar water pumping system in their 100th village in Uganda – allowing 7,000 people to have access to clean water for the first time in their lives. To help Innovation: Africa reach 150 more villages in the next 5 years by donating $30 toward gifting more families the benefits of solar energy, visit here.


Flexiway Solar Solutions to pioneer development of solar power outlet

Flexiway Solar Solutions  announced a collaboration to further develop a solar-powered Shelter Socket with IFRC – Shelter Research Unit and PRACTICA Foundation, a Dutch NGO specialized in water, energy and sanitation technologies. The joint aim is to develop a pioneering solar power outlet that can be installed in any tent structure. This innovation will help refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), by providing access to much-needed light and energy. Research shows a clear demand within refugee communities for a solar product that is integrated, waterproof and theft proof, yet this requirement remains unfulfilled. Representing a first for the industry, the Shelter Socket will be designed to fully meet the very specific needs of these populations. The product will comprise a solar panel that can be fixed to the outside of any tent, linked by a waterproof connection to an internal USB power outlet. The energy generated by the solar panel can be used to charge small USB powered electronic devices such as lights, torches, radios and mobile phones.


SAP AND ACUMEN CATALYZE THE ADVANCEMENT OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA AND INDIA

SAP SE in collaboration with Practitioner Network member Acumen, a non-profit global social venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty—gathered to celebrate the progress of the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in Nairobi. Bringing together SAP’s global business and innovation expertise and Acumen’s 15 years of investing in early-stage social enterprises, the 100-day program was created to help social entrepreneurs in Africa and India bring their companies to scale and drive faster solutions to poverty by addressing the shared challenges social enterprises face in emerging markets.


MOAB POWER Launches Long Life Pay-As-You-Go Solar Home System with Lumeter Technology

The U.S. solar energy storage and lighting firm launched the picoPOD™ family of solar rechargeable, lithium powered LED lighting products for the energy poor, a product line of Pay-As-You-Go [PAYGO] ready, plug-n-play Solar Home System incorporating Practitioner Network member Lumeter Networks’ PAYGO technology. 


 

Social Enterprise Mapping Study in India

Ennovent is conducting a baseline survey of the Indian social enterprise ecosystem as part of the Global Social Enterprise Program. The study is supported by the British Council in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ghana. The aim of the baseline study is to summarize the current size and scale of the social enterprise sector in India. The survey will contribute to improving the social enterprise ecosystem by obtaining currently unavailable numbers on various indicators. This will give stakeholders access to information and a clear picture of the existing landscape and will help them identify areas where their support is most needed. To participate in the survey, click here.