I find a recently published report useful, especially regarding arguments about renewables. After shaming sceptics with the number of people still without energy access, exciting them with the progress in technology, and surprising them with the fall in costs, you can then astound them with the new IRENA report’s figures on employment. Globally, nearly 10 million jobs have been added. Yes, the majority are in Asia in manufacturing, but there are promising signs of local manufacturing starting around the world as well as increasing numbers of skilled installation and maintenance posts. In this week’s webinar on cookstoves, for example, several speakers mentioned that they manufacture their cookstoves locally. As an interesting footnote, also see the story on US coal miners retraining as wind turbine installers.
Congratulations to Nafa Naana, the winner of Smart Villages’ fourth entrepreneurial competition, the 2017 Off-grid Energy Challenge for West Africa. Nafa Naana is a social business that improves access to clean and efficient energy solutions through a microfranchised distribution network and microfinance services in Burkina Faso. Congratulations to all the excellent finalists as well. Read about them all here.
Finally, we hope to see many of you at the European Development Days in Brussels next week where we will have a Smart Villages booth in the EDD Village and at ACEF in Manila, where the Smart Villages team will be giving presentations & leading a Knowledge Networking session!