Articles by Tom Chaplin
Minigrids and Cold Storage Are a Match Made in Sustainable Development Heaven – So What’s Keeping Them Apart?
The minigrid sector faces a dilemma: Most rural customers need electricity in the evenings, yet most minigrids generate their power during the day. This requires them to store unused power in expensive batteries, complement their solar power with diesel generators, or reduce production. As Seth Silverman and Tom Chaplin at Factor[e] Ventures explain, cold storage providers could offer minigrids reliable demand for their surplus power – yet these partnerships aren't happening. They explore the obstacles, and some potential solutions.
Agriculture should be a key market for rural energy providers in Africa. Growing agribusinesses and smallholder farmers need modern energy to thrive, and rural energy enterprises need reliable consumers to anchor demand for their services. Yet as Seth Silverman and Tom Chaplin at Factor[e] Ventures explain, a gap remains between the two industries, and ag-energy projects struggle to draw commercial investment. They explore some promising ways to fill that gap, sharing lessons from a new report.