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.

Bursting With Energy—Nakuru Agricultural Show

Tribal dancers performing in front of the packed stadium

Kenyan farmers have been travelling to the Nakuru National Agricultural Show every year since 1920. These days you need to arrive early if you want to avoid the lengthy queues to purchase an entry ticket. You can tell when the show has officially opened from the throngs of people, rickety matatus and crowds of motorcycles …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/bursting-with-energy-nakuru-agricultural-show/

Kenya Spots Geothermal Potential in The Menegai Crater

Nakuru town was once dubbed ‘the cleanest town in East Africa’ but it lost that title many years ago. As you approach the town from Nairobi, you join a long procession of aged cargo trucks belching jet black exhaust fumes, reducing the air quality and staining roadside buildings. The town is, however, taking steps to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/kenya-spots-geothermal-potential-in-the-menegai-crater/

DAREnterprisers harnesses East Africa’s impetus for change

DAREnterprisers is run by Cambridge University based volunteering group Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI)—a student run organisation that prides itself on its on-the-ground decision-making and human centred design. The CDI partnered with Smart Villages and others to address growing youth unemployment in East Africa, taking advantage of the impetus for economic change and growth in the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/what-is-darenterprisers-and-what-have-you-been-up-to/

What do Perovskites mean for the Photovoltaic Industry?

I once visited my local newspaper printing press. The machinery was immense. Two tonne rolls of paper were fed continuously into the ink rollers at fantastic speed. Conveyer belt contraptions whizzed partially folded newspapers around the factory with a frenetic industriousness. The whole apparatus would spit out 12 newspapers a second. Now imagine that it …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/what-does-perovskite-mean-for-the-photovoltaic-industry/

Insecticide Vaporisers for Mosquito Control

I once stood in the courtyard of an apartment house in Mombasa, Kenya, watching residents try to chase off mosquitoes using the fumes from burning cow dung. Children near to the fumes were crying but, in a country where mosquito-born diseases such as Malaria and Dengue Fever kill tens of thousands per year, the discomfort …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/advanced-measures-for-mosquito-control-by-insecticide-vaporisers/

More applied research, news needed on off-grid ‘smart villages’

Ed- How can science and research help bridge the gap in energy access for some 1.3 billion people living in off-grid communities worldwide? Anna gives her report after attending the Smart Villages Seoul Media Workshop. A potential solution lies in mapping on-ground activities of prototype ‘smart villages’ that use off-grid electrification solutions to deliver energy, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/more-applied-research-news-needed-on-off-grid-smart-villages/

EU drive energy access through ‘blending’ grants

The European Union has unveiled plans to support new energy schemes in Africa. The partnership with Paris-based private equity firm Astor Capital Partners will support around 20 SME’s involved in off-grid and decentralised energy production. The Electricity Access Fund aims to invest €55 million over five years, with €10 million of the fund’s capital coming …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/eu-drive-energy-access-through-blending-grants/

Tracking the growth of off-gid renewables

Off-grid renewable energy systems are expanding rapidly on the ground to service the needs of more than one billion people worldwide who lack access to electricity. Change is driven by declining costs and increasing performance for small hydro installations, solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind turbines, as well improved technologies for electricity storage and control. However, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/tracking-the-growth-of-off-gid-renewables/

Past the pilot stage for off-grid energy

We are poised on the brink of a unique moment the history of electricity supply where decentralised networks are set to rapidly expand, fulfilling the needs of the worlds poor. This is the bold conclusion from a group of researchers based at Berkeley, lead by Dr. Dan Kammen. Their recent perspective piece, published in Nature …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/past-the-pilot-stage-for-off-grid-energy/

Sexual Violence against Women and Girls: Is Energy part of the Solution?

Somali women carry firewood at Kobe refugee camp in Ethiopia (unicefethiopia)

“It was a degrading life full of humiliation and shame. We were often victims of rape and beatings by the hoodlums who hid themselves in the forest”  ̶  (An Ethiopian fuel wood carrier, Panjwani, 2005). Energy provision and sexual violence appear to be distant problems. However, with the possible exception of rural energy supplies in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/sexual-violence-women-girls-energy-part-solution/

A long climb to energy access: an off-grid success story

Claudia Canales, a Smart Village Project leader describes her visit to the remote community of  Amaguaya, recently in receipt of energy from a newly constructed micro-hydro plant. The visit was in preparation for a Workshop to be held in the Bolivia later this year – ed. I was fortunate to arrive in Bolivia a few days earlier than the rest of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/long-climb-energy-access-off-grid-success-story/

PM Modi brings Smart Villages to India

In his maiden Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Modi took the opportunity to announce the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (Parliamentarian’s Model Village Scheme). Since coming into office, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wasted no time in pushing through reforms to modernize India’s economy. His speech stressed the importance of undertaking similar efforts in rural …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/pm-modi-brings-smart-villages-india/

What is a ‘smart village’? Experts weigh in…

What is a ‘smart village? How can we ensure that people in rural villages have access to energy, connectivity, education and jobs? Hear from experts in the fields of energy, science, entrepreneurship and finance, including the Tanzania Renewable Energy Association, the Tanzania Academy of Science, Practical Action, Solar Aid, Global Village Energy Partnership, the Swedish …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/smart-village-experts-weigh/

Off-grid energy takes centre stage at Asia conferences

Ahead of the next Smart Villages workshop focusing on the ASEAN region, we (Dr Heather Cruickshank and Molly Hurley-Depret) traveled to Manila to attend two recent conferences focusing on Asia and energy: the International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition  (IOREC) and the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2014 (ACEF), held 16-20 June at the Asian Development Bank  in Manila, Philippines. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/off-grid-energy-asia/

Jugaad innovation – Dr Jaideep Prabhu

Jugaad innovation

Dr Jaideep Prabhu of the University of Cambridge describes ‘jugaad innovation’, “a frugal and flexible approach to innovation for the 21st century.” This type of innovation can provide affordable solutions for low-income communities and is also being adopted in the West.  http://jugaadinnovation.com/

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/jugaad-innovation-dr-jaideep-prabhu/

India: SMAAT Water in Smart Villages?

Last month, two members of the Smart Villages team, Dr Shailaja Fennell and Dr Terry van Gevelt, travelled to Hyderabad, India. Arriving in the early morning to the intense heat, the team was met by employees of SMAAT – a social enterprise focused on providing clean drinking water to urban slums and rural villages. After …

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Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/clean-water-social-enterprise/

Overview of Smart Villages Arusha Workshop

Dr Bernie Jones

In this video, Dr Bernie Jones describes the aims of the Smart Villages workshop in Arusha in June 2014.  The workshop aims to bring together leaders in the area of off-grid village energy, including poilcymakers, NGOs, entrepreneurs and other experts.  

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/overview-smart-villages-arusha-workshop/

Smart Villages: Learn about our initiative

Dr Bernie Jones

Dr Bernie Jones gives a brief overview of the aims of the Smart Villages initiative, particularly its focus on off-grid village energy in Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/smart-villages-learn-initiative/

Swedish involvement in the Smart Villages initiative

Dr Ernst van Groningen of the International Science Programme at Uppsala University discusses how several Swedish partners became involved in the Smart Villages initiative.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/swedish-involvement-smart-villages-initiative/

The role of the European Academies of Science in Smart Villages

Dr John Holmes discusses the important role of the European Academies of Science in the Smart Villages initiative.

Permanent link to this article: https://e4sv.org/role-european-academies-science-smart-villages/

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