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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, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Banyan Green raises Rs 1 crore from I3N, other angels

Source: Economic Times

Banyan Green Fuels, a startup that develops customised biofuels for clients, has raised Rs 1 crore from Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) and other angel investors.
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.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Solar energy technology for those with no access to electricity

Source: The Guardian

With 1.7 billion people living without access to mains electricity, we look at five solar-powered products that could ease the problems of those 'off the grid'
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
Monday, June 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Acumen Joins Power Africa's Beyond the Grid as Founding Partner

Source: Press Release

Acumen is proud to be a founding partner of Beyond the Grid, an innovative framework under President Obama’s Power Africa initiative to increase energy access for underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond the Grid will leverage partnerships with investors and practitioners committing to invest over $1 billion into off-grid and small scale solutions for this underserved market.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Africa: Private Capital Fuels Power Production - U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz

Source: AllAfrica

The theme of the energy ministerial is 'Catalyzing Sustainable Energy Growth in Africa'. The 'Electrify Africa' legislation sponsored by Republican Representative Ed Royce, with 117 bipartisan cosponsors, calls for a comprehensive U.S. policy to promote more access to electricity across Africa. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on 8 May and now goes to the Senate for consideration. What can you tell us about it?
Friday, May 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Canada’s SkyPower In $5bn Deal For Renewable Energy In Nigeria

Source: Ventures

VENTURES AFRICA – Following an agreement with Delta State, one of Nigeria’s largest oil producing regions, SkyPower, a Canadian power firm focused on solar energy projects, will be investing $5 billion in developing a 3000MW solar-powered electricity facility.
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.
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."
Thursday, January 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Financial innovations spur renewable energy investment in global markets

Source: pv magazine

Investment firms, financiers and energy companies around the globe are introducing innovative new funding vehicles aimed at renewable energy investment.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Social Entrepreneur's Inspiration For Solar-Powered Lighting

Source: Forbes

Solar-powered light bulbs for the poor: A growing number of social enterprises are selling such technology to bottom of the pyramid households in Africa, India and other countries. One of the first to do so, Denver-based Nokero (for No Kerosene) just introduced its next generation of products, as it works to make the company’s management more professional–and able to grow the enterprise even more. A little more background on the issue: Around 1.3 billion of world’s population lacks access to reliable electricity. Most of them use kerosene lamps, which are very very very expensive compared to incandescent lamps, (people spend as much as 30% of their income on kerosene-based fuels, according to Nokero), cause deadly fires (If you live without electricity, you’re seven times more likely to die by fire than someone with electricity, according to Katsaros), and contribute to air pollution. They don’t produce a whole heck of a lot of light, either
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

RBC inks first deal for its Social Finance initiative, investing $500,000 in MaRS Cleantech Fund

Source: Press Release

MaRS Discovery District today announced that the RBC Generator, the impact investing arm of RBC's Social Finance initiative, has invested $500,000 in the MaRS Cleantech Fund, Canada's most active dedicated early-stage cleantech venture fund. This is the first deal announced through the RBC initiative. Launched in 2012, the MaRS Cleantech Fund aims to provide early-stage funding to companies developing next-generation clean technology breakthroughs with global markets, deep intellectual property and capital-lean business models.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 — No Region Specified

Developing world may overtake West in green energy stakes

Source: The Irish Times

A ‘geographic shift’ in renewable investment is under way, with the east and south taking the lead.
Thursday, July 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Self-Healing Hydrogen Leaf Could Power the World

Source: Mashable

There are plenty of scientists out there trying to solve our impending energy crisis. Many of their creations never leave the lab. Here's one that is on its way to commercialization — and just fixed one of its biggest problems.
Thursday, July 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Power: Solving Climate Change and Other Community Needs

Source: 3BL Media/Justmeans

Crowdfunding could be an incredibly powerful way to deliver a decentralised energy system.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar company wins global green energy award

Source: Biztech Africa

Azuri Technologies – a company that gives Kenyan households pay-as-you-go access to solar power, is the winner of the 2013 Ashden Award, the world’s leading green energy prize.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 — South Asia

Poverty alleviation: Villagers thrive by using alternative energy

Source: The Express Tribune

Farmers in Ahmadwala, a village some 40 kilometres to the west of Lahore, are no longer worried about power outages affecting their livelihoods.
Friday, June 28, 2013 — South Asia

Renewable energy marks Kerry visit to India

Source: Devex

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up on Tuesday his first visit to India with the highlight of a $100 million loan guarantee program by USAID on private sector financing for clean energy under the Development Credit Authority.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa ‘needs coherent energy policy’

Source: Business Day

Sout Africa must create a coherent energy policy or it will continue to struggle to rely on power utility Eskom and millions of South Africans will remain in energy poverty, World Energy Council head Christoph Frei said on Tuesday.
Friday, January 11, 2013 — South Asia

The Bottom Three Billion: How One Clean Tech Company Serves the Poor

Source: Forbes

In 2007, a married couple with well-paid tech jobs in Singapore saw a prototype of a Japanese electric car and had a revelation. An electric car could be run for a tenth the price of a comparable one fueled by gas. The couple wondered: Could they create an electric motorbike for the masses in their home country of India? “This hit my mind like anything. This is the future,” Pachyappa Bala, the husband of the couple, remembered thinking at the time.
Monday, January 7, 2013 — No Region Specified

GravityLight: the low-cost lamp powered by sand and gravity

Source: The Guardian

Two London designers have developed a gravity-powered lamp that could sell for as little as £3, bringing light to remote regions in developing countries
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 (bdnews24.com) – 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.
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.
Monday, November 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Enter the iShack, a possible answer to improving Africa’s slums

Source: How We Made it in Africa

For those who aren’t familiar with South Africa’s informal settlements, it is estimated that seven million South Africans live in shacks in the country’s many “squatter camps” located around all major cities.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — South Asia

Student Social Entrepreneurs from India Win the 2012 Intel Global Challenge

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

With a “jugaad” mindset embedded in the culture, India has no shortage of social innovators cooking up solutions to the world’s ills. As a matter of fact, the Greenway Grameen Infra (GGI) team from India has just been announced as the winners of the 2012 Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, receiving $50,000 from the Intel Foundation on their invention of a biomass-based stove that increases fuel efficiency.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Four African Teenagers Create Power From Pee

Source: Fast Company

A group of African girls have made an engine that runs on a truly renewable resource: human urine.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda to develop off-grid lighting

Source: UPI.com

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, June 5, 2012 — South Asia

Will invest US $ 1 bn in India for inclusive growth and climate change: Karin Finkelston

Source: Business Standard

A member of World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has chalked out its investment plans for India focusing mainly on the renewable energy sources and targeting the bottom of the pyramid. Karin Finkelston, vice president, Asia Pacific talks to Rutam Vora on IFC's investment plans in India during the current year. Edited excerpts:
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 — South Asia

Symbiosis Project to Help Light Up Village Homes

Source: The Times of India

PUNE: Students from the Social Entrepreneurship and Consulting Cell of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management ( SIBM) have come up with a project to provide low-cost lighting units to rural households without electricity.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 — No Region Specified

Citi Leads Investment in SJF's New Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

he team at SJF Ventures had to undergo federal background checks, submit fingerprints and provide 20 references each in order to obtain a license from the Small Business Administration for its new nationally focused impact investment fund, SJF Ventures III LP. The fund could be a potential new funding source for some start-ups with a social good focus.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 — Asia Pacific

ADB Plans to Invest $100M in Environment Fund

Source: Inquirer Business

The Asian Development Bank is expected to invest about $100 million in a multinational fund that will be put up to boost investments in environment-related technologies and projects in developing countries like the Philippines.
Monday, March 5, 2012 — South Asia

Solar-Powered Micro Grids Change Lives of Indian Villagers

Source: Treehugger

In Uttar Pradesh, one of India's poorest states, a pair of US-born entrepreneurs is creating a new model for energy delivery to villages far from the grid. The founders of Mera Gao Power build and operate solar-powered micro grids to provide low-cost lighting and mobile phone charging to village houses, giving many rural people access to both light and power for the first time in their lives.
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.
Friday, February 17, 2012 — No Region Specified

E+Co Announces Plans to Scale Up Clean Energy Investments

Source: Press Release

E+Co, the non-profit leader in clean energy investing in small and medium enterprises in emerging markets, announced today that it will phase out its innovations unit to solely focus on and scale up clean energy investments in developing markets.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Truly Local Power: African Wind Turbines Built From Scrap

Source: FastCo.Exist

Wind power isn’t used much in the developing world, since a turbine is much more expensive than a solar panel. But Access:energy is flipping that equation by finding ways to build the turbines in the communities where they’re needed.
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