Off-grid 99: China, Musk and Local Ingenuity – An Unbeatable Combination

Thursday September 15th, 2016 - Smart Villages




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Dear Subscriber,

Looking through this week`s stories, it struck me that there are are three driving forces that while not officially linked are having the combined effect of making the transition to a sustainable future almost it now seems inevitable. The first is China. The news this week that all of the country’s new power demand was met by wind and solar last year. Taken together with the scale of some of the hybrid plants being constructed, China is demonstrating that renewables can be scaled up in a way that few thought possible even a few years ago. Secondly, Elon Musk continues to raise the stakes and levels of ambition with his new intent to put a storage system in every house. Thirdly, just look at the wonderful collection of local inventions in the Science & Technology section from solar powered tuk-tuks and backpacks to AC/DC hybrid nano-grids and fish waste as biomass. Truly exciting times indeed.

Top Stories

Dakar Workshop
New Zambian Player Eyes African Off-Grid Market
The world is moving towards clean renewable resources yet in Africa, we still have over 600 million people living without electricity. Statistics such as these are easy to overlook. Four entrepreneurs Tariq Yusuf, Brent Peterson, Rudi van der Westhuizen and Thlopie Motsepe have joined forces to reduce this number by forming ePower Holdings. […]

EngineeringNews (08.09.16)China Wind And Solar Powers Ahead
China dramatically increased the portion of its electricity generated from wind and solar in 2015, with the growth in the two forms of power alone exceeding the rise in the country’s total electricity demand. […]

Joe Sandler Clarke – EnergyDesk (08.09.16)

Energy As A Human Right?
Energy is the currency of life, it is transformed from one form to another (down an irrevocable pathway of dispersal) every nanosecond of our lives. All the achievements of human existence across history have been bought with energy, whether it be in the form of human muscle, animal power, water, wind, fossil fuels and nuclear sources. […]

Joss Tantram – TheHuffingtonPost (06.09.16)

India Promotes Solar Access For All
Secretary of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Shri Upendra Tripathy says India’s role at the head of the International Solar Alliance is to share achievements and lessons learned from National Solar Mission. […]

Ian Clover – PV-Magazine (07.09.16)


New Essay

It is not a village but people: Long Lamai, a case study of a smart village
Dr Tariq Zaman, University of Malaysia Sarawak

New Article

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

New Brief

Findings from the Smart Villages West Africa regional workshop
Smart Villages


Kenya Predicts Lake Turkana Will Be Off-Grid Gem
Antony Ochieng – CleanLeap (06.09.16)Burundi Open To Off-Grid Says Minister
EsiAfrica (06.09.16)

Angola Confirms Commitment To Se4All Goals
AllAfrica (07.09.16)

Morocco Aims To Be Solar Power
TradeArabia (06.09.16)

Solar Stimulates Zambian Villages
ZambiaDailyMail (06.09.16)

Energy Policies Questioned In Kenya
Bitange Ndemo – DailyNation (05.09.16)

Solar TVs Next In Kenya
Tom Jackson – DisruptAfrica (07.09.16)

Sweden’s Vattenfall Plans More Offshore Wind As Prices Fall
Vera Eckert – DailyMail (07.09.16)

Shell Eyes Dutch Off-Shore Wind Tender
Reuters (08.09.16)

Namibia Eyes Biomass
Bernama (07.09.16)

Solar Nano-Grids Kick Off In Kenya
Antonio Pasolini – JustMeans (09.09.16)

What’s Holding Back Off-Grid In Zimbabwe?
Tonderayi Mukeredzi – AllAfrica (09.09.16)

Indian Energy Strategy Paying Off
Desh Deepak Verma – TheIndianExpress (12.09.16)

Npower Tries To Drum Up Farmers’ Interest In “Green Gas”
FarmersWeekly (08.09.16)


Cuba’s Future Looking Sunny And Greener With Solar Power
Telesur (10.09.16)Bermuda Argues Over Solar Policy
Judith Landsberg – TheRoyalGazette (07.09.16)

US Manufacturers Set Out Micro-Grid Strategic Vision
Andrew Burger – MicroGridMedia (10.09.16)

Habitat Takes Californian Low Income Housing Solar
Stephanie Weldy – Marinij (10.09.16)

A Battery In Every Home?
Amanda Staller – ECS (09.09.16)

New Report

Smart Villages in West Africa: Accra regional workshop report
Smart Villages

Science & Technology

Solar Powered Tuk-Tuk Reaches UK 
TheGuardian (12.09.16)European BIOFOREVER Project On Woody Biomass Conversion
Elkem (06.09.16)

Fish Scales Used For Biomass Generator In India
Tereza Pultarova – E&T (07.09.16)

Plug N’ Play AHI Storage System Launched
PR Newswire (08.09.16)

Biomass Boilers Scale Up
Clean TechFinland (08.09.16)

Indian WWW Climate Saver Awards Announced
BusinessStandard (09.09.16)

Aquion Launches AC/DC Hybrid Nano-Grid
FinanceYahoo (12.09.16)

Solar Backpacks Help Ivory Coast Kids Do Their Homework
Evariste Akoumian – TheObservers (09.09.16)


Australian Mining Museum Uses Solar
Sophie Vorrath – One Step Off The Grid (06.09.16)Australians Consider Community Solar
Sophie Vorrath – One Step Off The Grid (07.09.16)

Philippine’s Expert Predicts Off-Grid Future
Boo Chanco – Philstar (07.09.16)

Indian Government Evaluates Small Hydro
Parshant Krar – TheEconomicTimes (06.09.16)

Wind Turbine Manufacturers Moving To Hybrid Projects
Anindya Upadhyay – Bloomberg (06.09.16)

Coal Tries To Fight Back In India
TheEconomicTimes (06.09.16)

ARENA Seeks Funding Compromise With Australian Government
Giles Parkinson – RenewEconomy (07.09.16)

Indian Report Highlights Village Electrification Discrepancies
BusinessStandard (08.09.16)

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