Category: Energy Entrepreneurs

One of the most effective ways of sharing information and disseminating experiences of energy access and rural development success (and failure) is through case studies. Smart Villages interviewed energy access and development practitioners around the world to collect their stories and insights.

Vidya Sagar Devabhaktuni, SKG Sangha – biogas entrepreneur

[:en] Vidya Sagar Devabhaktuni, President, SKG Sangha Location: Bangalore, India “Human beings are divided, but their basic problems are all the same”   Having provided biogas solutions to over 10,000 villages since the mid-80s, Vidya Sagar Devabhaktuni has explored remote areas all over the world. For the president of SKG Sangha, exploring local cultures and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-vidya-sagar-devabhaktuni-skg-sangha/

Saddek Fenardji, Canopy – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Saddek Fenardji, General Secretary, Canopy Location: Paris, France “The biggest challenge is getting paid” Saddek Fenardji remembers a local mayor’s surprise at how off-grid energy shaped Akonolinga, a town 70 kilometres away from the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé. “We built 250 street lights in a city of 20,000 inhabitants, which was otherwise totally in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-saddek-fenardji-canopy/

Kopernik Indonesia – solving last mile problems

[:en] Sergina Loncle, Communications Manager, Kopernik Location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia “The supply chain in Indonesia is a real challenge” On one of Indonesia’s 18,000 islands, Adonara in East Nusa Tenggara, crops such as copra – dried coconut flesh – are sold raw and unprocessed. Copra is usually left strewn on the ground, to dry in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/sergina-loncle-kopernik/

Nico Tyabji, SunFunder – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Nico Tyabji, Director of Strategic Partnerships, SunFunder Location: US, East Africa “As a financial intermediary for the off-grid solar sector, we’ve grown alongside companies”   Since it launched as a specialist debt financier for the off-grid solar sector in 2012, SunFunder has improved energy access for 2.9 million people. Co-founders Ryan Levinson and Audrey Desiderato …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-nico-tyabji-sunfunder/

Suleiman Mzungu, SUJA – biomass entrepreneur

[:en] Suleiman Mzungu, Co-founder, SUJA Location: Tanzania “Changing the practice of cooking with charcoal is complex”   As part of the plan to make charcoal from more sustainable sources, Suleiman Mzungu and Jacqueline Proneth are passing by the sugar cane sellers of Dar-es-Salaam, collecting the empty husks thrown aside. Collecting sugar cane husks also solves …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-suleiman-mzungu-suja/

Carlo Figa Talamanca, Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise

[:en] Carlo Figa Talamanca, Chief Executive, Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise Location: Phnomh Penh, Cambodia “We compete on industrialising the clean charcoal process”   The other day, there was a fistfight on the factory floor. More worryingly, an employee’s child did not turn up at school. This is directly the responsibility of Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/carlo-figa-talamanca-sustainable-green-fuel-enterprise/

David Achi, AD Solar Entreprise – minigrid entrepreneur

David Achi, Director, AD Solar Entreprise Location: Abidjan, Ivory Coast “Ivorians can now access life” Running a business in Ivory Coast is not easy, much less a solar company. David Achi trained over 1,000 technicians via a company he created in Reims – “the capital of champagne!” – in 2010. Achi also taught engineering at …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-david-achi-ad-solar-entreprise/

Shyam Patra, Naturetech Infrastructure – solar entrepreneur

[:en]  Shyam Patra, Founder and Director at Naturetech Infrastructure “We are ensuring that electricity is available and all the basic services are available. We don’t provide the electricity and then wait for the rest to happen.”   The first time Shyam Patra visited India’s rural north, he was working for a traditional energy company and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-shyam-patra-naturetech-infrastructure/

Segun Adaju, Consistent Energy Limited – solar entrepreneur

[:en]  Segun Adaju, CEO at Consistent Energy Limited “I think Nigeria has the biggest market for this kind of business in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.”   To get a sense of Nigeria’s problems in the energy sector, it helps to know that more 60 million people in the country have their own gas-powered generators. In …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-segun-adaju-consistent-energy-limited/

Mawuli Tse, Solar Light Africa – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Mawuli Tse, Director, Solar Light Africa Location: Accra, Ghana “Good technology migrates by itself” In the early nineties, Mawuli Tse spent time in Cape Verde, as part of a group working to install 5,000 photovoltaic systems in homes on the archipelago. “They were so progressive,” he says. “My thought was, if Cape Verde was …

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Richard Fahey, Liberian Energy Network (LEN) – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Richard Fahey, CEO, Liberian Energy Network (LEN) Location: Liberia “We give Liberians, be they fishermen or child soldiers, a powerful tool to do their job better” When a shipment of solar lights disappeared at the port of Hamburg en route from China, only to turn up three months later, every single battery dead. It …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-richard-fahey-liberian-energy-network-len/

Jeroen Verschelling, Kamworks – solar home system entrepreneur

Photos courtesy of M. Young/Kamworks.

[:en] Jeroen Verschelling, Chairman and Co-founder,  Kamworks Location:  Phnom Penh, Cambodia “It’s hard to go faster than the market” Jeroen Verschelling first designed his zero-energy home when he was a consultant for Ecofys, taking notes in the back of a conference room with experts on how to build homes in the tropics. Verschelling spent three …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-jeroen-verschelling-kamworks/

Emal Barekzai, Zularistan – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Emal Barekzai, CEO, Zularistan Location: Kabul, Afghanistan “We worked in areas which were 100% Taliban” Emal Barekhzai came to Jalalabad in 2002. He was living in Kassel, Germany, and he found a two-month role working as an IT technician at a girl’s school there. Only 3% of girls were going to school in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-emal-barekzai-tecnosol/

Vladimir Delagneau Barquero, Tecnosol – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Vladimir Delagneau Barquero, President and Managing Director, Tecnosol Location: Managua, Nicaragua “20 years ago, some Nicaraguans thought renewable energy was the work of the devil” When Vladimir Delagneau Barquero explains why he launched Tecnosol he brings the story back to an experience he had over a decade in the mid-eighties, during his military service …

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Abdul-W. Raaj, Suka Energy West Africa – renewable energy entrepreneur

[:en] Abdul-W. Raaj, CEO, Suka Energy West Africa Location: Tamale, Ghana “People often ask me why we do everything – in, Africa there is no niche in solar energy” In Ghana in the eighties, around 40 schoolchildren in one class would burn kerosene lanterns, to be able to keep on studying after dark. Lanterns, some …

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Raghu Chandrasekaran, E-Hands Energy – rural energy entrepreneur

[:en] Raghuraman (Raghu) Chandrasekaran, Founder E-Hands Energy Location: Chennai, India “Who cares for the poor anyway?” Along the Himalayan border of India, site of the 1962 Sino-Indian border conflict, lie rural villages which Raghuraman Chandrasekaran has ventured into many times. The founder of E-Hands Energy, which brings hybrid solar and wind energy to rural Indian …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-raghuraman-raghu-chandrasekaran-e-hands-energy/

Yonas Workie, Suntransfer Tech PLC – solar home system entrepreneur

[:en] Yonas Workie, Managing Director, Suntransfer Tech PLC Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia “You have to really find quality products in a market which can be unfair” Doing business in Ethiopia, which has a population of 100 million, has its challenges. 80% live in rural areas, and hydropower is the most popular energy source. Yonas Workie …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-yonas-workie-suntransfer-tech-plc/

Luis Pazos and Robins Ocheng Odiyo – solar cooking entrepreneurs in Kenya

[:en] Luis Pazos and Robins Ocheng Odiyo, Co-founders, SV Graduate Research Forum – solar cooking in Kenya Location: Berkeley, California and Kilgiros/ Kericho, Kenya “Some people are still coming up to me, not believing that you can cook without fire” In Kenya, the famous staple ugali is made by steadily stirring cornflour into boiling water. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-luis-pazos-robins-ocheng-odiyo-solar-cooking-kenya/

Vishnu Raghunathan, Lytyfy – solar entrepreneur

[:en] Vishnu Raghunathan, CEO & Co-Founder, Lytyfy Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia “You have to really find quality products in a market which can be unfair.” After college, Vishnu Raghunathan and S. Deepak Kumar spent more than two years working for the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, a government programme in India’s rural Bihar province. The …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-vishnu-raghunathan-lytyfy/

Jacqueline Pronet, SUJA – clean cooking entrepreneur

[:en]Tell us a bit about yourself My name is Jacqueline Proneth.  I am a 24 year old woman from Tanzania studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at the University of Dar es Salaam.  Meanwhile, I am in the process of registering a business with my partner Suleiman Mzungu which involved charcoal briquettes. What …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/profile-jacqueline-pronet-suja-east-africa/

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