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.

One angel investor on launching 10 off-grid companies—and what it takes to be successful

Interview with Andrew Reicher Angel investor in off-grid energy companies Location: UK and across rural Africa “I do not measure impact. I know it when I see it”. For more than a decade, Andrew Reicher worked for large financial firms aiming to encourage economic development in some of the world’s poorest corners. Again and again, …

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“Jikokoa”: Scaling up clean cookstoves and providing local jobs

Interview with Boston Nyer BURN General Manager, Kenya Location: Kenya “The next step is to get more sustainable fuels into people’s homes”. “The whole impetus is to save trees,” explains Boston Nyer, BURN’s general manager in Kenya. In East Africa, 60% of deforestation is driven by the need for wood and charcoal for cooking. “Our …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/jikokoa-scaling-clean-cookstoves-providing-local-jobs/

d.light founder: Solar can leapfrog the grid for people living at the “bottom of the pyramid”

Interview with Ned Tozun Co-founder, d.light, a for-profit social enterprise based in China, India, East Africa, and the USA Location: Nairobi, Kenya “Now that the technology has evolved, we want to provide more holistic energy solutions”. After studying and working in engineering, Tozun knew he was “wired” for entrepreneurship. He started “a couple of companies” …

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Mlinda’s pico-grids in India: Powering productive uses at the right price

Girls School Hostel Sundarbans Electrified by Mlinda

Interview with Vijay Bhaskar Country Director, Mlinda Location: India “We pitched our tariff as an alternative to fossil fuels, and they’re willing to pay our tariff and make sure they’re consuming responsibly”. Mlinda’s first project to bring renewable energy to the Sunderbans, in West Bengal, didn’t go as well as hoped. The organisation wanted to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/mlindas-pico-grids-india-finding-right-price-villagers/

Thwarting thieves: Solar Turtle keeps solar panels safe & secure

Interview with James van der Walt, Founder, Solar Turtle Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa “Step one is having the courage”. James van der Walt was working as a mechanical engineer in Ireland in 2009, when the economic crisis hit. “It was atrocious, everyone was going on the dole,” he remembers. He was taking a ferry to …

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Disruptive technology for rural villages: The case of Sure Chill solar refrigerators

Interview with Ian Tansley Chief Technical Officer, Sure Chill, a Cardiff-based tech company Location: UK “The single biggest challenge we have is people grasping the scale of what we can do: reaching billions” Tansley has spent over thirty years working in Africa, in Nigeria in particular. Remote solar-powered systems were failing; for example, conventional refrigerators …

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Village Infrastructure Angels: Village agriculture can be powered by solar energy

Interview with Stewart Craine Founder, Village Infrastructure Angels Location: Vanuatu, Indonesia, Honduras, Papua New Guinea “You have to be obsessed with access to sustainable energy to do this job”. Stewart Craine calls his work “an adventure”—an indication of the robust attitude he’s applied throughout his career as an energy access entrepreneur. Craine co-founded Barefoot Power, a …

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Children in rural Ghana empowered by access to information, IT skills

Interview with Josephine Marie Godwyll Founder and National Coordinator at Young at Heart Ghana Location: Ghana “The missing link most of the time is information”. Rural communities have a tremendous amount to gain from access to information. The internet offers potential solutions to many of the problems that make rural life difficult, but these are …

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Cambridge students bring tech to Indian students, inspire learning

Interview with Moni Gupta Co-founder of Mobile Education for Smart Technology Location: India / Cambridge, UK “The same thing they are learning in their books they can explore with this technology and build up more creativity”. Today, Moni Gupta is a PhD student in chemistry at the University of Cambridge. But she remembers her time …

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For energy in Nepal, “remoteness is more than geographical”

Interview with Ben Campbell Location: United Kingdom; Nepal “Remoteness is more than geographical”. Ben Campbell is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Durham University (UK), whose research and collaborations have focused on sustainable energy solutions for remote mountain villages in Nepal. But his interest in sustainability began well before he entered academia, when he …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/4238-2/

Hacking energy: low-tech “jugaad” energy innovation gives high-tech a run for its money

Jugaad innovation

Interview with Jaideep Prabhu Jawaharal Nehru Professor of Business and Enterprise at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University Location: United Kingdom; India “There is no shortage of ingenuity”. Jaideep Prabhu is the Jawaharal Nehru Professor of Business and Enterprise at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, and he directs the university’s Centre for …

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In Nigeria, biogas offers agricultural communities energy

Interview with Fatima Oyiza Ademoh Project Manager, Ajima Farms and General Enterprises Nigeria Ltd Location: Nigeria “Biogas can power homes and communities”. “I have always wanted to reduce the numbers of people living in energy poverty”, says Fatima Ademoh. Her first off-grid project, connecting the village of Rije, Nigeria to a biogas generator, will be …

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Trust, training essential for off-grid energy start ups

Interview with Salinee Hurley Tavaranan, CEO & Founder, SunSawang Formerly Director at Border Green Energy Team “We don’t do solar for free anymore. We started charging for it and now it’s working”. Salinee Tavaranan is trained as a solar engineer. But she’s learned the policy and finance side of the business as well, after more than 10 …

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For Tanzania’s Chololo Ecovillage, a focus on education makes investment go further

Mary Mpilimi says: “Now I don’t have to beg money for my husband for things like clothing, medicine and school fees."

Interview with Michael Farrelly Chololo Ecovillage Location: Tanzania “If 70 percent of your population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture, then climate change is a big issue”. With a masters degree in rural development, Michael Farrelly has brought a knowledge of participatory research methods to the Chololo Ecovillage. By offering villagers a wide range of climate-resilient techniques to …

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In Nigeria, a young entrepreneur sees mini-grids as rural energy’s future

Interview with Ifeanyi B. Orajaka Managing Director / CEO Green Village Electricity Projects Ltd. Location: Nigeria “When everything else crumbles, it’s your integrity that will be able to pull you up again” Ifeanyi B. Orajaka holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical / Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. He has vast experience …

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Aleutia: From solar classrooms in a box to Africa’s emerging middle class

Interview with Mike Rosenberg Founder, Aleutia Location: pan-Africa “I’m passionate about what I do. Passion is not optional”. Mike Rosenberg started his technology career in 2004 at Kelway, a leading UK IT reseller and was fascinated by the falling price of technology and opportunities for social impact in Africa. Given an opportunity to go to …

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In the Himalayas, an entrepreneur brings energy–and trekkers–to remote villages

Interview with Paras Loomba, Founder Global Himalayan Expedition Location: Himalayas “My focus? Their livelihoods” Paras Loomba, son of an Army officer, is the Founder of the Villagers at Lankarchey brok (GHE). After a successful International Antarctica Expedition in 2012, led by Robert Swan, OBE, Paras quit his corporate job to work in the field of renewable …

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Barefoot Power India: Women are central to rural energy

Interview with Vernie Sannoo, Managing Director Barefoot Power India Location: India; Barefoot Power is active in the global south “The only barrier is affordability.” While Vernie Sannoo didn’t found Barefoot Power India, he has a rich experience in sales and marketing for rural energy, rural distribution, and overall business operations that he uses to help continue to …

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Azuri’s CEO anticipates continued growth in Africa, PAYG agriculture

Simon Bransfield-Garth, Chief Executive Officer Azuri Technologies Location: Pan-Africa “Go where nobody else has got to yet.” Simon Bransfield-Garth is on the cutting edge of the solar pay-as-you-go market for rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Founder of Azuri Technologies, Bransfield-Garth is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for technology. He has been named a World …

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Permanent link to this article: http://e4sv.org/interview-simon-bransfield-garth/

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