14 May 2014 - A writer for the Guardian describing the benefits of social enterprise’s potentially “ending energy poverty” pitches two interesting models: Off Grid Electric in Tanzania and Mera Gao Power in India. Off Grid Electric installs small solar systems in customers’ homes, through which they can get electricity for lights and for mobile phone charging. A daily fee paid through money transfer services accessible through mobile phone providers in East Africa activates the systems. In India, Mera Gao Power has chosen solar-powered microgrids serving up to 30 homes at a time instead of installing individual home systems. Fees from participating households are collected weekly by a technician. Off Grid serves more than 15,000 homes in Tanzania, while Mera Gao power has 20,000 customers.
The author, Anne Wheldon, describes both social enterprises as “proving that a business-like approach to increasing access to solar power is a win-win for both people and profit.” It is an odd statement, equating as goals the outcome of solar power access and the tool of profit. Presumably, the profit incentive in social mission terms is the tool that attracted private investors to ante up the dollars, not an objective itself. read more>>>
May 15, 2014 - The Renewable Energy Policy Advice Network (REPAN) is coordinating a global network of practitioners to help countries design and implement renewable energy policies and programs. They are doing this by providing expert assistance for establishing stable regulatory frameworks that encourage deployment of renewable energy, and leveraging the resources of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Clean Energy Ministerial.
The Clean Energy Solutions Center -- an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial -- and IRENA have formalized a collaboration that will help accelerate the global deployment of renewable energy. read more>>>
09 May 2014 - President Barack Obama on Friday announced a series of executive orders intended to increase the use of solar energy in the US, boost the energy efficiency of federal buildings and train more people to work in the renewable energy field.
The president unveiled the policy initiatives during a visit to Wal-Mart in Mountain View, California, in part to highlight the commitments score of corporations have made to using power harnessed from the sun to run their facilities.
In addition to Wal-Mart, these entities include firms headquartered not far from where the president spoke: Apple, Google and Yahoo. read more>>>
May 15, 2014 - Several of the most heavily populated countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are experiencing unprecedented rates of rural electrification. Meeting the increased demand for both power and grid services across the region will require innovative approaches, including microgrids that are capable of operating in isolation from (or in the absence of) the wider power grid. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, the microgrid market in Asia Pacific will grow from $778 million in 2014 to nearly $5.8 billion in 2023.
“Developed countries in Asia Pacific are actively pursuing community-based and commercial/industrial microgrid projects,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “It will take a few years to gather and analyze data on financing models and technology issues from the pilot projects and commercial installations underway today. But there is no question that microgrids will play a vital role in the ongoing economic transformation in the region.” read more>>>
May 16, 2014 - A $3 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) High Energy Cost Grant Program will be used to enhance a three-megawatt solar installation project at the University of the Virgin Islands. The grant is designed to provide financial assistance for the improvement of energy generation, transmission and distribution facilities servicing eligible rural communities. It was awarded to Veriown Energy, whose parent company New Generation Power entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with UVI in August 2013. The grant will allow Veriown the ability to deploy a microgrid application on UVI's campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. read more>>>
16 May 2014 - Trillions of dollars aimed at boosting the global green economy will be at stake when the UN’s Climate Fund (GCF) board gather in Songdo, South Korea on Sunday.
The goal of the planned four-day meeting is to ensure the swift and smooth launch of the fund, and allow it to start boosting low carbon initiatives in the developing world.
The GCF is seen as a critical element of a proposed UN climate change deal, set to be signed off in 2015, with the potential to radically shift the green investment landscape. read more>>>
May 16 2014 - Kimberley - The Northern Cape is set to become the province with the largest production of renewable energy and in what can be seen as not only the first but also a huge step in reducing South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions and building a sustainable green economy, the Droogfontein Solar Photovoltaic Plant was on Thursday launched just outside Kimberley. The De Aar Solar Photovoltaic Plant was launched on Wednesday.
Constructed at a combined cost of R3-billion, the plants will contribute 100 megawatts into Eskom’s power grid as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). read more>>>
May 16, 2014 - SUPER thin solar, growth tips for a green economy, and biomass energy were among the topics at a research seminar here this week.
At Indonesia’s prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology, three Australian experts spoke on issues where Australian know-how and Indonesian interests come together.
Monday’s seminar was the third in a series organised by the two countries’ academies of science and Australia’s embassy in Jakarta. The other seminars dealt with medical and agricultural research. The series took in not only the capital but the regional cities of Bogor, Makassar, Yogyakarta and Bandung. read more>>>
May 11, 2014 - In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were already employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide, a new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals. ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014’ underlines the important role that renewables continue to play in employment creation and growth in the global economy.
The comprehensive annual review shows steady growth in the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide, which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012, according to IRENA. read more>>>
May 9, 2014 - SUNY Cortland and SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY) have completed three solar projects that are key component to SUNY Cortland’s efforts to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy.
The three projects can create up to 1.06 megawatts of solar power generation capacity, expected to provide 6 percent of the campus’ electricity needs. SolarCity expects the school to save thousands on energy costs over the life of the system. The savings will allow the school to purchase renewable energy from additional sources to help achieve its goal of supporting 100 percent of the campus’ electrical needs with clean energy. read more>>>