Category: Stories

Stories are what make the world and inspire the imagination. We have collected, and continue to add, stories about energy access and rural development around the world, as well as the latest updates and thoughts from our own projects and activities.

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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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/interview-paras-loomba/

Public policy targets for energy access

If energy poverty and access is such a pressing social problem, why do we need to involve governments in addressing it at all? In other words, why won’t the market devise solutions and innovative business models for expanding access to modern energy services? Or, why don’t major institutions like the United Nations or the World …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/public-policy-targets-energy-access/

Smart villages for smart voters

The right to vote is generally considered a fundamental right of each citizen, underpinning all other basic rights – to food, education and security. And the world’s most enthusiastic voters live in India’s 650,000 villages. At the heart of India’s democratic system have been regular elections that now see the participation of more than 100 …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/aldeas-inteligentes-para-votantes-inteligentes/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/interview-with-vernie-sannoo/

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: https://e4sv.org/interview-simon-bransfield-garth/

Energy provision and food security in off-grid villages

In spite of much technological progress, many countries as well as communities within countries suffer from food insecurity; one in seven people in the developing world remains food insecure. Food security involves concurrent attention to availability, which is a function of production; access, which is a function of purchasing power; and absorption, which is a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/energy-provision-food-security-off-grid-villages/

Can energy access improve health?

In 2007, I was invited by a colleague to teach a global technology course to Princeton students at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. This is a wildlife research centre located in the Laikipia district of Kenya, which has a population of about 250,000 people in a land area about twice the size of Israel. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/can-energy-access-improve-health/

Smart villages – the Malaysian approach

Electricity first made its appearance in the region in 1894, when two prominent local Selangor-based Malayan entrepreneurs, Loke Yew and Thamboosamy Pillay, started to use electric pumps for tin mining. By the mid-1920s, several small generating plants had been established using a variety of fuels including low-grade coal, local wood, charcoal and bunker oil. A …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/smart-villages-malaysian-approach/

Is biomass a sustainable energy solution for off-grid villages in developing countries?

Summary Much is said about moving to a biobased economy (BBE) for the production of food, feed, fuels, materials and products1 particularly in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and delivering on the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, published in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The question considered here is whether the better provision of biomass …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/biomass-sustainable-energy-solution-off-grid-villages-developing-countries/

Off-grids can power South Asian electrification

South Asian governments would do well to integrate off-grid with grid options in their quest to achieve universal electrification, says a new study. “The governments prefer to extend the grid even to those regions in which renewable energy sources are available in plenty,” says Debajit Palit, associate director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/off-grids-can-power-south-asian-electrification/

Leapfrogging to sustainable power

As the global population is still rising – albeit at a decreasing rate – we can expect an additional billion or more people in the next 10 years and yet another billion by 20401. Simple mathematical calculations would suggest that the number of off-grid global poor will nearly double within a decade. And the world …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/leapfrogging-sustainable-power/

Transforming rural communities through mini-grids

Access to energy, especially for rural communities, represents a central pillar of development. For the more than a billion people in the world without reliable access, the provision of electricity will have a huge impact on their livelihoods as it is crucial for human well-being and development. Without a reliable energy supply it is difficult …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/transforming-rural-communities-through-mini-grids/

Energy innovation for smart villages

Two critically important and linked challenges face the global community in the 21st century: the persistence of widespread energy poverty and the resulting loss of economic opportunity; and intensifying human-driven climate disruption. These crises are inexorably linked through the energy technology systems that have so far provided the vast majority of our energy: fossil fuels. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/energy-innovation-smart-villages/

Energy for development – the concept

Worldwide, 1.3 billion people remain without access to electricity and 2.7 billion are still cooking on harmful and inefficient stoves1. Many live in remote rural village communities, and until they have access to energy services, little progress can be made to develop and improve their lives2. As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated, “energy …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/energy-development-concept/

How can people be empowered to provide energy services?

Professor AbuBakr S Bahaj is head of the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) at the University of Southampton. He discusses an on-going project that is partnering with a village in Kenya to help them provide their own energy services and thereby invigorate their villages.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/how-can-people-be-empowered-to-provide-energy-services/

A show of political will at World Future Energy Summit

The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is an annual event, dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies.

Held as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is billed as the world’s foremost event dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. The Smart Villages Initiative attended the four-day conference programme, which covered a range of key themes across clean energy. We …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/show-political-will-world-future-energy-summit/

Why energy is a priority in sustainable development

Access to safe and sustainable energy is of vital importance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says Marcel Alers, global head of energy at the UN Development Programme (UNDP). “Energy provision is an essential element of sustainable development,” Alers tells SciDev.Net, referring to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encompasses the 17 goals …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/energy-priority-sustainable-development/

The frugal innovation revolution that is taking the world by storm

Rasperry Pi is a great example of technology enabling frugal/jugaad innovation

In late 2015 a Cambridge-based nonprofit released the Raspberry Pi Zero, a tiny £4 computer that was a whole £26 cheaper than the original 2012 model. The Zero is not only remarkable for its own sake – a computer so cheap it comes free with a £5.99 magazine – it is also symptomatic of a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/jaideep-prabhu-cambridge-judge-business-school-discusses-the-frugal-innovation-revolution-that-is-taking-the-world-by-storm/

10 Surprising Renewable Off-grid Energy Sources

Necessity is the mother of invention. Here is our round-up of the top ten weirdest attempts to solve the problem of energy access through innovation. 1) Gravity Some innovations are so simple they seem destined for success. By simply lifting a bag of earth and letting it slowly drop, GravityLight can provide 20 minutes of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/10-surprising-renewable-off-grid-energy-sourceseccentric-energy-off-grid-communities/

Opportunities in Bario made me want to come home to Malaysia

What questions does the typical fifteen-year-old city Malaysian ask? ‘Should I look for a job this school holiday?’ ‘What do I want to do in the future? Go into business or work for someone?’ ‘Should I pick the science or art stream for school next year?’ ‘Should I continue my tertiary education locally or overseas?’ …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/opportunities-in-bario-made-me-want-to-come-home-to-malaysia/

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