Category: Rural Development

Solar to power thousands of off-grid homes in north Pakistan

By , March 11, 2015
Moin Hassan, an employee of the Capital Development Authority, cleans solar panels which run a tube well in Islamabad, Pakistan. TRF/Aamir Saeed

Moin Hassan, an employee of the Capital Development Authority, cleans solar panels which run a tube well in Islamabad, Pakistan. TRF/Aamir Saeed

By Aamir Saeed

February 18, 2015

Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province plans to supply solar power to 5,800 off-grid households in 200 villages, promoting clean energy amid conventional electricity shortages.

The provincial government has earmarked 400 million rupees ($3.94 million) for the nine-month solar project, which will equip up to 29 households in each village.

Decentralised renewables set for 70% annual growth in India, says Goldman Sachs

By , February 25, 2015

By Andy Colthorpe

18 February 2015

The market for decentralised renewable energy in India could be worth more than US$150 million by 2018, while around 5 million residential solar systems are predicted to be sold in the country between last year and 2018, according to a new report.

The report, “The business case for off-grid energy in India”, authored by non-profit organisation The Climate Group and investment bank Goldman Sachs, argues that using low carbon, off-grid renewable electricity and therefore being nearer the generation source can reduce transmission losses, as well as providing price stability and energy security. Its writers attempted to “identify promising off-grid energy business models with the greatest potential for scale-up”.

This Tower Pulls Drinking Water Out of Thin Air

Warka Water towers are designed to take advantage of condensation. (Architecture and Vision )   Read more: Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Warka Water towers are designed to take advantage of condensation. (Architecture and Vision )

By Tuan C. Nguyen

April 8, 2014

Designer Arturo Vittori says his invention can provide remote villages with more than 25 gallons of clean drinking water per day.

In some parts of Ethiopia, finding potable water is a six-hour journey. People in the region spend 40 billion hours a year trying to find and collect water, says a group called the Water Project. And even when they find it, the water is often not safe, collected from ponds or lakes teeming with infectious bacteria, contaminated with animal waste or other harmful substances.

Rural Women to Train in Solar Energy in India

By , March 28, 2011

Bugesera, Mar 28, 2011 — The New Times/All Africa Global Media Printer Friendly

Four women from Bugesera district will travel to Barefoot College in India, for a six-month training in solar energy installation and maintenance.

Claudine Uwimana, 48, Odette Mukarumongi, 50, Cecile Nyiramubandwa, 48 and Dative Mukantabana,47 all residents of Karambi village in Nyamata sector, will travel on Monday.

The training is funded by the government of India, while Rwanda United Kingdom Goodwill Organisation (RUGO) will raise 25,000 Pound Sterling required to install solar power in 110 houses in Karambi village.

The women will learn how to fabricate, install and maintain solar powered household lighting system.

They are expected to use their skills, to install lights in the Karambi homes.

The quartet were yesterday briefed on the arrangements and given the necessary travel documents.

Mike Hughes, the Chairman of RUGO, explained why this particular training is unique.

“It is amazing that illiterate women are trained to be formidable Solar Engineers. Wait after six months, these women will be performing miracles in Karambi village, yet they never went beyond primary school,” he said.

Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera, reminded the women the importance of the training.

He appealed to them to focus all their attention on the training, saying that their fellow residents expected a lot from them.

Claudine Uwimana, the group leader, said that she was excited.

“The fact that I have never traveled beyond Kigali, notwithstanding, I am boarding a plane to India. I will beat all odds including the language barrier, to gain enough skills to have solar energy in my village,” she said.

Solar-wise California friends aim to light up African villages

By , January 21, 2011

Solar-wise California friends aim to light up African villages

By Darrell Smith
Sacramento Bee
Updated: 01/21/2011 06:11:30 PM PST

Electric power. We flip a switch, turn it on, take it for granted. The lights, the microwave, the flat-screen TV; and now the Leaf or Volt or some other electric car.

But in Africa, electricity remains a rare, hard-earned luxury. Blackouts as long as 12 hours are common, even in the large cities, while homes in villages far off the grid are warmed by wood fires and glow to kerosene light.

James Tataw, owner of San Jose-based Spectrum Solar Electric, and his friend and fellow solar entrepreneur Dennis Forsberg of El Dorado Hills-based Sunbolt Energy Systems plan to change that.

Their charge: “Illuminate Africa. One village at a time.”

A Solar Strategy for Africa: International Players Set To Expand Key Markets

By , January 4, 2011

Now that real progress has been made in growing global demand and production and lowering costs in developed countries, it is time to think seriously about kick-starting real solar markets in Africa.

There is a need for a shift in focus on solar markets in Africa away from donor and rural electrification projects to commercial and productive investments. There is also a need for the international PV industry to aggressively invest in the development of solar markets and not to leave it up to aid and relief organisations. This must be based on the need to move – today – towards grid-connected and urban markets. As part of this process there is a need to engage and educate African governments about the current global status of the solar sector and help them build frameworks for industry growth.

For the World’s Rural Poor, Solar Innovations Offer Hope

By , November 28, 2010

Innovations in solar energy have the potential to bring electricity to much of the rural poor in developing countries.

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that 1.5 billion people—including 89% of rural sub-Saharan Africa—still lack electricity. African villages tend to rely on diesel generators and highly toxic kerosene lamps for light, even in rural clinics, despite the risk of respiratory diseases.

Solar power, however, is starting to make inroads in locations where extending the electric grid may not make economic sense. Various solar applications are becoming more affordable thanks to such technological innovations as photovoltaic panels that use thin films; light bulbs that capture energy during the day to provide light at night; and solar mobile-phone chargers.

Seizing the mHealth moment

By , November 8, 2010

Populations may lack access to health care, but they are increasingly connected to each other, to various information sources, and to the world at large. The mobile phone, once thought to be a luxury item, is nearly ubiquitous throughout the developing world. Seventy percent of all mobile phone users today are in the developing world. Almost 90 percent of the world’s population is covered by a commercial wireless signal. By 2012 half of all people in rural areas will have mobile phones. So even if a person doesn’t have their own phone, most have access to one.

Models of climate action to be showcased daily by UN agency, ahead of Cancun parlay

By , November 1, 2010

A project to light up the Indian countryside with the power of the sun is one of 30 solutions to climate change to be showcased each day, starting today, in the month leading up to the next major meeting on the topic, according to the United Nations Evironmental Programme (UNEP).The “30 ways in 30 days” initiative, launched one month before the start of the next conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled from 29 November to 10 December in Cancun, Mexico, will release case studies of successful climate schemes that can be copied and scaled up around the world.

Developing Nations to Get Clean-Burning Stoves

By , September 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — Nearly three billion people in the developing world cook their meals on primitive indoor stoves fueled by crop waste, wood, coal and dung. Every year, according to the United Nations, smoke from these stoves kills 1.9 million people, mostly women and children, from lung and heart diseases and low birth weight.

The stoves also contribute to global warming as a result of the millions of tons of soot they spew into the atmosphere and the deforestation caused by cutting down trees to fuel them.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to announce a significant commitment to a group working to address the problem, with a goal of providing 100 million clean-burning stoves to villages in Africa, Asia and South America by 2020. The United States is providing about $50 million in seed money over five years for the project, known as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.