Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, October 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

These Solar-Powered Machines Help Farmers Dry Their Food Instead of Letting It Rot

Source: Co.Exist

A lot of food grown in developing countries never makes it to the people's bellies. Because of a lack of refrigeration, it rots during transport or when farmers fail to sell it immediately at markets. Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food (with a value of more than $1 trillion) is wasted in this way, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Thursday, September 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Green Energy for the Poor

Source: The New York Times

An innovative business model combining solar power and cellphones is electrifying parts of rural Africa that are far from the grid.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

West Africa Off-Grid Solar Venture Gets $3.4 Million Investment Boost

Source: PV-Tech

Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar firm PEG has raised GHS13.2 million (US$3.4 million) to expand its presence in the West African country.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — Latin America

Iluméxico to Bring Solar Energy to 300,000 in Mexico’s Off-Grid Communities

Source: Press Release

Iluméxico, the Mexican social enterprise focused on solar power, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to bring its Solar Home Systems to 50,000 off-the-grid rural homes – approximately 300,000 people – by 2020. This commitment includes the creation of 180 new jobs, of which 90 will be designated for women and 70 will be based in rural communities.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African Cleantech Startups You Need To Watch

Source: Forbes

African entrepreneurs and technologists are coming up with solutions to solve their own energy problems.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Solar Power-Charging Backpack Made From Recycled Plastic

Source: Forbes

Fledgling social enterprise Rethaka sells backpacks for school kids that do a few things at once: Made from recycled plastic bags, they first of all address the plague of waste from that material. And with a charger powered by solar energy, they provide light for children who lack electricity at home, while also reducing the use of kerosene, which causes a great many accidents and illnesses. Its CEO, 22-year-old Thato Kgatlhanye, founded the company and developed the product, called Repurpose Schoolbags, while attending a university in Johannessburg, South Africa.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

The $7 trillion solar tsunami in our midst

Source: Eco Business

Solar power costs just keep on falling, and with $7 trillion of investment piling into the sector, the momentum is now unstoppable.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: Rural Maubane Receives Solar Powered Health Centre

Source: allAfrica

The North West Department of Health together with Samsung Electronics South Africa have launched a Solar Powered Health Centre (SPHC), which officials says will improve access to specialised healthcare for Maubane residents.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scatec Solar to Build First Large Scale Solar Plant in West Africa

Source: Biztech Africa

A historic agreement to Build-Own-and Operate West Africa’s first utility-scale solar power plant has been signed by Norwegian company Scatec Solar and its partners, the Malian Ministry of Energy and Water and Electricité du Mali (EDM), the electricity utility of Mali. To be located near the ancient city of Segou in South-East Mali, 240 kms from Bamako, the 33 MW solar project is being developed in partnership with IFC InfraVentures and the local developer Africa Power 1.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Botswana’s Hearing Aid Pioneers Are Betting on Solar Power to Go Global

Source: Quartz

Six years after developing the prototype of a solar-powered hearing aid, Deaftronics, a Botswana-based company, is readying to take its technology global.
Friday, July 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Portable Solar Power to the People

Source: BiztechAfrica

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, is commercialising its solar powered portable LED lamps with mobile phone charger, the Mobiya TS 120S, in order to offer innovative, reliable and affordable products to people living without access to electricity.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Tools Deliver Medical Diagnoses, Fast, Cheap and in the Field

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Reliable electricity is a rare commodity in some parts of Guinea, which means some traditional medical equipment often is useless. So researchers there are using a new tool to identify Ebola cases: a portable diagnostic machine that fits in a suitcase and runs on a solar battery.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Latin America

A Light in the Darkness

Source: The Economist

Some mountainous parts of Mexico are so remote that the electricity grid fails to reach them, let alone the banking system. A five-year-old social enterprise, Iluméxico, hopes to change that. It provides more than 20,000 people with loans to buy low-cost solar panels and batteries, enabling them to switch lights on, watch television and charge mobile phones, sometimes for the first time.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Phones4Power: Using Mobile Phones to Run Micro-Grids in Africa

Source: The Guardian

Kenya-based business SteamaCo is harnessing the power of mobile to bring affordable electricity access to rural, off-grid communities. SteamaCo’s smart technology allows solar micro-grid owners to monitor their performance remotely and capture consumer payments via mobile money platforms, thereby overcoming the traditional challenges of keeping grids working reliably and profitably.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung Delivers Accessible Healthcare to Hammanskraal

Source: IT-Online

Samsung Electronics South Africa is addressing the need to provide accessible healthcare services in the Ga-Ramotse community in Hammanskraal. As part of its commitment to the communities in which Samsung serves, the organisation donated a Solar Powered Health Centre (SPHC). The SPHC supplies a variety of screenings, equipment and offers treatment to members of the community in need.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Solar power enterprise gives light, livelihood to the poor


In the slums of Tondo, Manila, hope flickers in broad daylight for poor communities in the form of solar power technology. Amid makeshift houses, piles of garbage and mud-covered walkways, young mothers are operating a container van which has been transformed into a renting station of solar-powered rechargeable lamps in Sitio Damayan (Smokey Mountain).
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why we’re building an investment fund to back solar energy in Africa

Source: Quartz

The near-trillion dollar question is: what kind of power infrastructure should Africa build? Should it replicate the large-scale electricity grids of the developed world, or is there a shorter path to electrifying Africa?
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Innovation, Minus the Sticker Shock?

Source: GreenBiz

What do solar-powered hearing aids, a subscription service for baby clothes and mobile technology for farmers in East Africa all have in common?
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — South Asia

Simpa Networks Gets Renewable Energy OPIC Impact Award

Source: CleanTechnica

The energy-poor tend to be among the poorest people in their countries and cannot afford the high upfront costs of a quality solar solution. About 400 million people in India live in remote villages and don’t have access to an electricity grid. Millions more have only very limited access to electricity. Although distributed solar based solutions are available, high up front costs keep them out of reach from many who have limited income and cannot obtain bank financing.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — South Asia

Life Without Light in Rural India: Why Solar Lanterns Can't Compete With the Grid

Source: The Guardian

Chanda sometimes wakes long before dawn to sweep her house and beat the husk off her rice. Now in her 70s, Chanda has long since lost her sight. The sound of her morning activities reverberates down the narrow, unpaved street of the Adivasi colony, through the mud brick walls of the homes stacked either side, waking her neighbours. Next door, Leena complains but is sympathetic. “Living without electricity is like being blind,” she says. “You move around your home and cook without being able to see. Even in the day it is the middle of the night.”
Friday, May 15, 2015 — South Asia

Solar-Powered ATMs to Deliver Clean Drinking Water in Pakistan

Source: The Express Tribune

Punjab province is set to launch an innovation for water-short Pakistan: Solar-powered ATMs that dispense clean water when a smart card is scanned.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — South Asia

Priority Status for Solar Power Will Aid Smaller Players

Source: GreentechLead

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently revised its priority sector lending (PSL) guidelines. Now medium enterprises, social infrastructure and renewable energy (RE) will form part of priority sector, in addition to the existing categories. This has brought excitement to the stake-holders.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Goodbye, Kerosene: How Solar Could Transform Africa

Source: Mother Nature Network

Africa is in the midst of a technological revolution, and it's increasingly solar powered.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

GoSun Grill: The Only Solar Cooker That Cooks Day or Night

Source: EcoWatch

Earlier this year, we featured the GoSun Stove, a compact fuel-free cooker powered by nothing more than the sun’s rays. Now, the forward-thinking company is trying to launch their GoSun Grill—a larger and perhaps improved version of the cooker since it feeds many more people.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Solar Crowdfunding: In Need Of A Kickstart

Source: Forbes

Solar power is going intergalactic. In an announcement late last month, SolarCity SCTY +1.77%, the country’s largest installer of rooftop solar arrays, announced that private space company SpaceX had scooped up $90 million of its corporate bonds.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Ikea’s Newly Designed Refugee Shelters Are a Game Changer

Source: TakePart

The units are spacious, have solar panels, and can last an average of three years.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Where Is the Rockefeller Family Reinvesting Its Former Oil Holdings?

Source: Barron's Impact Investment Blog

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund—the $866 million-asset foundation started in 1940 by John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s five sons—announced in September that the family would divest itself of all their coal, tar-sands, and fossil-fuel investments held in the fund’s endowment. The eight Rockefeller family trustees on the board decided the fund needed “to better align its endowed assets with its mission” of combating climate change.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Woman Might Be the Most Successful Impact Investor You've Never Heard Of

Source: Entrepreneur

The February ribbon cutting for Gigawatt Global’s new $24 million solar field in Rwanda was an impact investment showcase. More than 28,000 solar panels, arranged in the shape of the African continent, added six percent to the entire country’s electricity production.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Future of Mobile Money: Building Seamless Financing Options Through Clean Energy

Source: Greentech Media

Clean energy in developing economies rests with a seamless, ubiquitous, easy-to-use financing platform based on energy and mobile money. Wireless credit is a very important piece of that platform.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Sunlabob Renewable Energy Receives $2.1 Million Investment

Source: pv-magazine

Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a Laos-based group that specializes in bringing clean energy solutions to rural communities, has this week secured an impact investment of $2.1 million to enable it to expand its off-grid programs in Asia, Africa and the Pacific region.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Muhammad Yunus joins global public awareness campaign for solar

Source: PV Magazine

Visionary social entrepreneur and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has joined the world's first global public awareness campaign for solar,
Thursday, March 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Solar Expert Joins Microfinance Leader FINCA International's Board of Directors

Source: PR Newswire

FINCA International, a leading microfinance organization based inWashington, D.C., is pleased to welcome Dr. Fred Seymour, a solar energy expert, to its Board of Directors. A pioneer of microfinance, FINCA is actively exploring the development of additional social enterprises that can deliver nonfinancial products and services, starting with solar energy.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Power Takes Off in Africa

Source: CNBC

In Kenya the cell phone is being used to transform the way that people consume energy. M-KOPA Solar – the word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-based business that has pioneered the idea of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investor Global Partnerships Invests in Solar to Connect the Poor With Light

Source: The Huffington Post

To this day, an estimated 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. That is over a billion people who struggle to refrigerate their food and medicine, study at night to further their education, or charge their mobile phones. Electricity is crucial to human well-being and development, and lack of access to it is a huge barrier to overcoming poverty in the developing world.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Greenlight Planet Receives Funding of $10 Million

Source: The Economic Times

Solar energy product company Greenlight Planet has raised $10 million (Rs in funding led by Fidelity Growth Partners India to support its distribution expansion efforts in India and Southeast Asia.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-KOPA Solar raises $12.45m in latest funding round

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenyan startup M-KOPA Solar has closed its fourth round of investment through a US$12.45 million equity and debt deal led by LGT Venture Philanthropy, which will be used to expand the company’s product range, grow its operating base in East Africa and license its technology to other markets.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This 'Eco Stove' Does More Than Cook Your Dinner

Source: CNN

In Uganda, more than 28 million people in the country are without electricity. To put that into perspective, the entire population of the beautiful landlocked east-central African nation is less than 38 million people.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MIT-USAID Program Releases Pioneering Evaluation of Solar Lanterns

Source: MIT News

When a person lives on less than $2 a day — as some 2.7 billion people around the world do — there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail. It’s a challenge development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers themselves face every day: With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one?
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Liter of Light Wins Zayed Future Energy Prize

Source: Zawya

Litre of Light, a project in partnership with PepsiCo that brings cost effective solar lighting solutions to communities in need while recycling plastic bottles, has been honoured as the winning entry in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Non-Profit Organization category.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Schneider Electric Introduces Innovative Solar Street Lights

Source: Thisday Live

Schneider Electric has announced the introduction of a new range of innovative energy efficient maintenance-free Solar Streetlights popularly known as Villaya.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

SunEdison, Adani to Invest $4 bln in Indian Solar Panel Plant

Source: Reuters

Solar power firm SunEdison and Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises plan to invest up to $4 billion in what would be one of India's largest solar panel makers, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts an investment summit. On the sidelines of Modi's Vibrant Gujarat gathering of statesmen and business leaders, the two firms said on Sunday that the new joint venture project would manufacture low-cost photovoltaic solar panels, helping turn sunlight directly into electricity at cheaper rates. Solar energy in India costs up to 50 percent more than power from sources like coal.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Seven Breakthroughs That Will Transform Global Health

Source: The Guardian

Which major breakthroughs in technology have had a transformative effect on the lives of the world’s poorest? Vaccines for polio and other serious diseases; HIV anti-retrovirals; mosquito bed-nets with powerful insecticide infused into its fabric. All have transformed lives by dramatically reducing disease.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Latin America

SunEdison, IFC, OFID, and CABEI Close $146M Financing for Solar PV Projects in Honduras Totaling 81.7 MW

Source: Solar Server

SunEdison Inc. (Belmont, CA, US) on December 15th, 2014 announced the closing of an approximately USD 146 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Phone Charging Made Simple

Source: allAfrica

Rwanda's Henri Nyakarundi founded African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) to give renewable energy solutions to the public and private sectors in his home country Rwanda after failing to find a place to charge his phone from. However, he never imagined that his idea would ever cross the border.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Off-Grid Solar Companies Closed $64M in 2014: The Start of a Bigger Trend?

Source: Greentech Media

Early-stage investments in off-grid solar companies operating in developing countries reached $63.9 million in 2014, according to a tally from Greentech Media.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Dubai-Based Social Enterprise Shines Bright For Africa

Source: The National

It started with a plea to help 60,000 orphans in the company’s care. The children, who were being looked after in Zimbabwean orphanages set up by the telecoms operator Econet Wireless, could not study at night because there was no power and lighting, and many were getting sick from breathing in the chemicals emitted from candles.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

SunFunder Completes New Round Of Funding

Source: CleanTechnica

SunFunder, the US crowdfunding company dedicated to funding off-grid solar projects in developing countries, announced Wednesday that it had completed its Series A equity round of funding, raising $2.5 million. The announcement came following investments from Schneider Electric, Better Ventures, and a private family foundation based in Palo Alto. This latest announcement follows on from an original Series A investment made by Khosla Impact and a group of existing angel investors.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — South Asia

Bangladesh installs 3 million residential solar systems

Source: PV Magazine

Bangladesh’s Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Idcol) last week marked the installation of 3 million residential solar systems in the country. According to Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star, the 3 million systems installed under the Idcol program in off-grid areas have a combined capacity of 135 MW.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This backpack designed for poor kids does so much more than carry books

Source: Quartz

South Africans Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane are co-founders of the business Rethaka. Their brand of Repurposed Schoolbags are made from recycled and reinforced plastic shopping bags. Recipients are all poor. But it’s so much more than a bag. Because the kids often live in shacks and remote areas with no electricity, Repurposed Schoolbags are built with some other smart features. On the outside of the flap is a pocket for a solar panel, which charges on the long walk to and from school.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

WakaWaka Power gets a big brother with the new solar-powered 'first aid kit'

Source: TreeHugger

This solar gadget innovator is back with a new model, the WakaWaka Base, which includes either a 5,000 or 10,000 mAh battery pack, and the device is designed to be charged with the company's 7.5 or 10 watt portable solar panel. Along with the solar panel and battery pack module, WakaWaka is also offering two small LED lamps, one of which is powered by plugging it into the Base, and one which has an internal battery that can be recharged via the panel and battery pack.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

SolarAid Releases Second Impact Report on Rural Solar

Source: Press Release

This week SolarAid release their second ever Impact Report. The report is packed with information on how the charity does what they do, why they do it, the impact of that, and what they’re working towards. In the last year the charity, who's goal is to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020, had some great progress.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty

Source: TIME

Clean cooking and better sources of energy can have a domino effect on health and education.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

Source: Fast CoExist

One startup working in Nepal learned that delivering high-quality health care often means having to innovate in unexpected ways--such as building new energy systems.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Kopa Solar Powers Up 100,000th Home in East Africa

Source: AllAfrica

M-KOPA Solar announced on Friday that it has powered up to 100,000 homes in Kenya and Uganda within two years of its commercial launch.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Power Africa: Ghana To Attract $4bn From America

Source: Ventures Africa

Recently, Ghana signed a Power Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), making it the current largest American Government-funded transaction of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.The Ghana Power Compact facilitates the investment of up to $498.2 million for the transformation of Ghana’s power sector while also stimulating private investments. Eventually, the deal is expected to raise more than $4 billion from American and global energy firms.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Using mobile money to buy water and solar power in east Africa

Source: The Guardian

Mobile phones are facilitating access to utilities in poor rural communities. But do consumers have the faith to go cashless?
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

d.light Reaches 500,000th Pay-As-You-Go Customer, Launches Access Initiative

Source: Business Ghana

Company announces strategic focus to scale solar through financing globally
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Echoing Green Announces The Next Generation Of Social Entrepreneurs

Source: PR Newswire

Today Echoing Green announced its 2014 class of Fellows including Global, Black Male Achievement and Climate Fellows.
Monday, June 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cleantech in the developing world: from solar power to refrigeration

Source: The Guardian

For a growing number of companies, cleantech promises innovations and opportunities at the base of the pyramid
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Infuse Ventures, Intellecap Impact Investment Network invest Rs 3 crore in solar startup Surya Power

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) andInfuse Ventures have invested $500,000, or Rs 3 crore, in Coimbatore-based solar-agriculture startup Surya PowerMagic.
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Solar Crowdfunding Platform SunFunder Join’s Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid

Source: Crowdfund Insider

The US Government, under the aegis of the Obama administration, has formally launched Power Africa to increase energy access to those in need in sub-Saharan Africa. SunFunder is one of the founding partners of the initiative and joins an august group that includes another solar crowdfunding platform Mosaic.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

I.D.B. to finance solar energy plant in Chile

Source: EcoSeed

The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a total of $66.4 million to finance a photovoltaic solar energy plant in the Chilean region of Antofagasta.
Thursday, May 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Online Solar Marketplace Raises $1M In Equity Crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

Levine, a serial entrepreneur, raised $2 million in an angel round in 2011 and $14 million in a second round the next year.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bloomberg invests $5 million in portable solar-powered lamp for off-grid African populations

Source: Associated Press

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Off Grid Electric gets $7M to ‘light Africa in a decade’

Source: Venture Beat

Why do more people live without electricity today than when Edison turned on the first light bulb? For as long as he can remember, Xavier Helgesen has been fascinated with this question. And today, he landed $7 million in financing for his Arusha, Tanzania-based venture, Off Grid Electric, which provides solar energy to people in emerging nations.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Crowdfunding Solar Power is Democratizing the Way we Finance Clean Energy

Source: Tech Republic

Crowdfunding campaigns for solar power are gaining traction. Pioneering startups like Mosaic are changing how we finance renewable energy.
Monday, March 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Uganda's Newest Utility: Pay-as-you-go Solar Power

Source: Voice of America

In Uganda, telecom provider MTN and a company called Fenix are gearing up this year for a nationwide rollout of pre-paid electricity, similar to pre-paid airtime, but using solar kits. Uganda has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa - a continent where some 600 million people are off the power grid.
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Google and SolarAid partner to explore impact of solar technology on poverty alleviation in Africa

Source: Press Release

February 2014: Today Google has announced their continued support of international development charity SolarAid and their work distributing solar lights in rural Africa, by funding a two year evaluation on the impact of solar lights on poverty alleviation.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Crowdfunding Site For High-Impact Solar Projects

Source: Clean Technica

Lack of access to financing can keep many otherwise worthy solar energy projects from being built in poor and underserved areas, but a solar crowdfunding site is helping to connect individual investors with solar energy businesses and working to bring affordable solar energy to communities around the world.
Monday, January 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can Crowdfunding Help Cleantech Ride the Big Data Wave?

Source: The Energy Collective

"Big data is a coming wave of 'green gold,'" says Nick Eisenberger of Pure Energy Partners."Information technology will be the most powerful tool to address resource challenges in our lifetime."
Monday, January 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

11 Ingenious Solar Projects Impacting the Developing World

Source: Mashable

It's easy to take energy for granted, forgetting that throughout much of the world, a lack of power affects everything from business to education to matters of life and death. Approximately 1.5 billion people still don't have access to electricity worldwide, with an additional 1 billion having only intermittent access.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

A New Financial Model To Pay For Solar

Source: Co.Exist

The top names in solar are starting to look and act a lot more like regular electric utilities. And that's a good thing for the future of mainstream renewables.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Khosla Impact Is Investing Nearly $2M in This Plug-and-Play Solar Firm

Source: GreenTech Media

Off-grid applications are cleantech's next big market. Nowhere is this more true than in Africa, where the International Energy Agency predicts population growth will outstrip grid expansion to leave 645 million people without power. It’s predictably tough for companies in this vast market to stick out from the pack. In order to get a sense of how companies can achieve success in this space, I sat down to chat with Mansoor Hamayun, the CEO of U.K.-based BBOXX, on the eve of a Series A investment from Khosla Impact.
Thursday, November 14, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Clinics Bring Health Care to the Countryside in South Africa

Source: allAfrica

South Africa has a serious lack of healthcare facilities in rural areas but some new solar-powered mobile clinics are changing that.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Mobile Clinics Bring Health Care to South Africa Countryside

Source: Voice of America News

South Africa has a serious lack of healthcare facilities in rural areas. In many cases, people must walk for kilometers to reach the closest clinic. But some new solar-powered mobile clinics are changing that.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

Lighting the path of profitability for base-of-the-pyramid enterprises

Source: devex

It’s every small business’s dream to be profiled not only by mainstream media flagships like the New York Times and The Economist but also trendsetting outlets like “The Colbert Report” and Fast Company. And by this measure of media attention, d.light design, provider of solar light and power products for the developing world, is a resounding success. But as any enterprise knows, generating buzz about your product is not the same as having customers actually buy it. d.light represents that most ambitious of social enterprises: One that aims to turn a profit while solving a social problem. Dubbed “hybrid” organizations by Harvard Business School professor Julie Battilana, these businesses differ from other social enterprises, who often rely on grant-based funding, rather than revenue, to sustain operations.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Barefoot Power launches new portable, integrated GO systems


Barefoot Power's latest product release, the portable Barefoot GO solar system, launches this month offering an exciting new option for homes and businesses to increase access to renewable energy in developing countries. The Barefoot GO is a portable unit, so it can be used as a torch, ceiling or wall mounted. Barefoot GO lights can also be used as a torch, ceiling or wall mounted. Barefoot Go lights can also be reversed in the
Friday, August 23, 2013 — Latin America

Bringing Solar To Impoverished Towns, With A Model Straight From The Corporate World

Source: Fast Company's Co.Exist

Disillusioned by corporate life, Manuel Aguilar and Juan Rodriguez started Quetsol, an organization that uses business acumen to supply rural Guatemalans with solar power.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Solar energy: African economies' secret weapon

Source: CNN Money

In recent years, the continent has become a haven for renewable energy, spearheaded by small, tech savvy companies keen on capitalizing off of the global south's hunger for energy.
Friday, June 7, 2013 — Latin America

Argentina builds first-ever solar neighborhood to fight energy poverty

Source: Deutsche Welle

A solar power project in Buenos Aires is providing electricity for some of the city's poorest households. Volunteers are hoping to create Argentina's first green community - one rooftop at a time.
Friday, May 31, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Selling Solar Panels on the Installment Plan in Africa

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Some solar startups are addressing the problem with creative financing models.
Thursday, May 30, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Energy access for all in Africa: does enterprise hold the key?

Source: The Guardian

Local companies, international groups and charities are all using business approaches to improve access to clean, safe energy
Thursday, May 2, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How solar panels are leading the fight against malaria

Source: Business Green

Kenyan island aims to become free of the disease thanks to solar-powered, insecticide-free mosquito traps
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Coca-Cola turns to solar energy to increase sales

Source: Business Day

Coca-Cola has turned to solar energy to consolidate its market share and boost sales through provision of subsidised solar kits to soda kiosks in order to extend their operating hours. Speaking Wednesday during the launch of a partnership with energy solutions provider, One Degree Solar, Managing Director Nairobi Bottlers Patrick Pech said the project will go a long way in helping retailers and kiosk owners extend their operating hours, reduce operating costs and enable them record higher sales.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 — South Asia

Asian Development Bank : Pay-As-You-Go Model Expands Solar Energy Access in Rural India

Source: Press Release

More than 60,000 households in rural India will have better access to electricity by 2015 as Simpa Networks, a company supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), scales up the sales of its off-grid, pay-as-you-go solar energy solutions.
Friday, March 8, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Shell-Backed Solar Company Bets on Phone Banking for Africa

Source: Bloomberg

M-KOPA Kenya Ltd., backed by a Royal Dutch Shell Plc-funded charity, sees sales of its solar-lighting system that allows users to pay by phone surging 13-fold as mobile operators roll out banking services in Africa.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 — South Asia

India's villagers reap visible benefits from solar electricity scheme

Source: The Guardian

Energy NGO Teri has revolutionised 500,000 lives through a scheme that uses solar LED lanterns to provide cheap power
Monday, February 25, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Invested Development Invests in SolarNow to Provide Affordable Solar Home Systems in Uganda

Source: Press Release

The Netherlands, & Kampala, Uganda – Invested Development, an emerging markets-focused social impact investment company, has invested in SolarNow, a Dutch social enterprise operating in Uganda. SolarNow combines a franchise model with an end-user credit facility to provide affordable solar home systems (SHSs) in Uganda.
Thursday, January 10, 2013 — South Asia

In India, Solar Ambitions Are Suddenly Outsize

Source: The New York Times

After years of lagging behind China and the West in the adoption of solar power, some states in India are proposing to build solar farms at a galloping pace that leaves them at risk of falling short of electricity (a familiar problem here) or of paying higher prices for it.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How to Light Africa Within a Decade

Source: Forbes

Today, when the sun goes down in Africa, over 150 million homes will not turn on the lights. The reason is simple: they don’t have electricity. Instead, they will extend their day by the dim light of kerosene lamps. Families will huddle around these lamps, inhaling the lung-burning equivalent of two packs of cigarettes each from kerosene fumes.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — South Asia

Panasonic lanterns 'to regain market'

Source: BDNews24

Osaka, Dec 10 ( – Electronics giant Panasonic will launch solar lanterns for un-electrified areas in developing countries by early next year as it shifts its businesses to eco-technologies to bring back the losing markets by 2018, its 100th anniversary.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From NYC To Nairobi: Interview With SunCulture, Audience Choice Award Winners 2011-12

Source: Forbes

All entrepreneurs are inherently risk-takers, but some are willing to go above and beyond for an idea they believe in. NYU Stern alumnus Samir Ibrahim and serial entrepreneur Charles Nichols, winners of the Audience Choice Award at the 2011-12 Entrepreneur’s Challenge fit this description perfectly. The two recently packed their bags and moved to Kenya, where their start-up SunCulture sells solar-powered irrigation products and agricultural services to local farmers.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 — South Asia

Solar Energy Brings Power to Rural India

Source: Triple Pundit

In Central India, far from the grid of power lines, telephone poles and power transformers an electrical experiment has been taking place. For the last year, the village of Meerwada has been learning to live with solar energy. Located some 90 minutes from the nearest city by way of a rocky 4×4 dirt road, this small town sits on the cutting edge of a modern-day industrial revolution.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ecobank, IHS seal $202m deal for mobile network in Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

THE investment profile of the pan-African bank, Ecobank Group, may have risen with the signing of a syndicated loan facility with IHS Holding Limited, for the mobile tower investment and solar energy projects in Cameroun and Côte d’Ivoire.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

‘The potential is big,’ says green energy entrepreneur

Source: How We Made it in Africa

Socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneur Mshinwa Edith Banzi is the founder of Illumination East Africa (iEA), a Tanzanian-based company that offers affordable solar chargeable LED lamps to predominantly low income earners. These lights have a battery life of between 18-24 months and batteries can be replaced thereafter.
Friday, September 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Solar lighting: Lighting the way

Source: Economist

Energy technology: Cheaper and better solar-powered electric lights promise to do away with kerosene-fuelled lanterns
Monday, August 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

SolarKiosk: Mobile Modular Power for Really Remote Areas

Source: GOOD

For those who’ve grown up constantly plugged into the power grid, it’s almost impossible to think of life without an endless supply of outlets, power cords, and technology. But for an estimated 1.5 billion people around the world, power—from cutting and burning firewood to lighting kerosene lamps, paraffin, and candles—doesn't come easy.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda to develop off-grid lighting


LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Approximately 85 percent of Rwanda's population has no access to the electricity grid, leading energy officials to seek "off-grid" solutions. GVEP International, a charity that battles poverty and climate change by promoting access to modern and renewable energy sources, has produced a report outlining investment possibilities in Rwanda's off-grid electrical sector, which includes solar lanterns and solar photovoltaic systems.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Power to More People

Source: Wall Street Journal

Africa may be about to get a whole lot more power. For years, nonprofits have worked to make lighting available and affordable to Africans who aren't connected to a power grid. But they've managed to help only a tiny percentage of that population, mainly by selling them inexpensive kerosene lamps.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

Low-Cost Solar Brightens Lives in the Developing World

Source: National Geographic

A decade ago, Katherine Lucey oversaw a heavily subsidized $1,500 solar-light installation in the rural district of Mpigi in central Uganda. The 60-watt rooftop solar panel system could power three lights in the four-room, off-the-grid house.
Friday, March 2, 2012 — South Asia

Pathbreakers: Harish Hande, MD of Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO)

Source: Economic Times

Unable to ignore the poorest of the poor who live in abject darkness, Harish Hande decided to put his Master's in solar power to good use. Today, the 44-year-old MD of Solar Electric Light Company or SELCO, retains the same inclusive elan while reminiscing how his company continues to light up lives at the bottom of the pyramid.
Friday, February 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Total's Solar Kits Target Poor Households

Source: allAfrica

Total Kenya is banking on portable solar kits for lighting and charging of mobile phones to break into the Kenyan renewable energy market.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Malaria Scientist Celebrates Success After 24 Years

Source: Reuters

For Joe Cohen, a GlaxoSmithKline research scientist who has spent 24 years trying to create the world's first malaria vaccine, Tuesday, October 18, 2011 goes down as a fabulous day.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 — South Asia

Esther Duflo Bribes India's Poor to Health

Source: Fast Company

Rajasthan is India's desert state, an often inhospitable place where per capita income averages around $1.77 per day. Poverty like that--understanding it and imagining ways to fix it--is what Esther Duflo lives for. Since 2003, her Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (named for a wealthy Saudi donor), or J-PAL, has conducted 240 randomized, controlled trials of specific ways to help the poor. She tests poverty solutions the way medical researchers test new drugs, which can violate the p...
Monday, June 13, 2011 — No Region Specified

Vaccines Need to Reach the Poor in Middle-income Countries Too


The world's top aid donors met on Monday in London to replenish the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), netting a remarkable $4.3bn in the midst of a historic recession, to scale up immunisation programmes in the run-up to 2015 and the mill...
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