Smart Villages News 130 – Front Line Heroes Deserve More Recognition

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Dear Subscriber,

Already, unfortunately, the SEforALL Forum seems a fleeting memory. I do not envy Rachel Kyte and her team the job of keeping the momentum going in the face of other world events. While not pretending to have the answers, one route must be working with the media to bring a human face and voice to the problem, and a more nuanced face than the current hackneyed images of school children gathered round a solar lamp or a solar panel perched on a traditional native hut (see below!). As for a voice, we need to go beyond reporters filing a story on the basis of a superficial visit to a remote off-grid village.
We need to hear much more from the army of front line heroes we caught a glimpse of in Brooklyn through our Voices from the Village session shown here and other panels. Because despite the barriers and setbacks they face, they are winning the renewables war, and their story must be heard. We try here, but please don’t hesitate to send in your stories, and we’ll give them a platform.

Top Stories

Dakar Workshop
Ping’s 4 Lessons From African Solar Entrepreneurs
In my opinion, the next hotbed of innovation is Africa, specifically the nations of South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya. Numerous industries are being disrupted at the moment, from the African mobile money market — the undisputed leader of which is Kenyan startup M-Pesa — to job hunting, by South Africa’s Giraffe, a mobile recruitment app for low-income workers without internet, but with smartphones. […]

Ping Jiang – Entrepreneur (18.04.17)

Record Global Renewables Levels Reports REN21
Recent reports bring positive news related to renewable energy investment and the feasibility of a 100% renewable energy future. The publications address Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (climate action). […]

Alice Bisiaux – SDG (11.04.17)

At Least China’s Staying True To Energy Change Blueprint Believes Greenpeace
China is set to attract as much as 5.4 trillion yuan ($782 billion) in wind and solar sector investment between 2016 and 2030, off-grid solar stands out as the most economical way to address energy poverty, and curbing carbon footprint brings further environmental and economic benefits, finds a report by Greenpeace. […]

Marija Djordjevic – Pv-Magazine (12.04.17)

Contemplating India’s Power Paradox
A dusty plastic sheet covers a large diesel generator in a corner of a petrol station in Atrauli, a village in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a modest but telling sign of progress. The gas station used to shut at 7 p.m. every day because the lights would often go off, and there was no way to know when they would come back on, said Sudhakar Singh, the manager. […]

Rina Chandran – Sustainability (17.04.17)

More Americans Work In Solar Than Facebook, Google And Apple Combined
Anyone watching the solar market has seen an amazing increase in solar photovoltaics (PV) sales over the past nine years, and GTM Research reports that the industry is still growing during the first quarter of 2017. In just under a decade, the solar market has experienced a 30-fold increase, and 2016 alone saw a notable surge in annual global PV demand in excess of 50 percent over the previous year. […]

Karla Lant – Futurism (17.04.17)

EDF To Offer Free Solar Panels And Storage In UK?
EDF Energy is teaming up with the UK’s largest generator of solar power in a bid to create the biggest challenger brand in the energy retail market by the end of the decade. […]

Jillian Ambrose – Telegraph (17.04.17)



Smart Villages brings village voices to SEforALL Forum
Smart Villages

New! Smart Villages Photography Competition 2017

Send us your best photos!
Deadline: 30 April
Only 10 days left till deadline!
Smart Villages

People’s Choice Awards

Vote for IOPA in the GSC3 People’s Choice Awards!
Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement (IOPA)

Press Release

Wide ranging survey of rural off-grid communities stresses importance of bottom-up approach to achieving sustainable energy access dividends

Smart Villages

Watch now! Refugees and energy webinar

Refugees and energy: Meeting the needs of refugees and displaced people
Smart Villages


Another Off-Grid Player Ignites Rwandan Market
Esi-Africa (12.04.17)Claims That Energy Policy Moving Up The Agenda In Africa
Noor Kapdi, Daniél Hofmeyr – ElectricLightPower (11.04.17)

EU Latches On To Smart Villages Idea
Hannah Black – Euractiv (12.04.17)
African Thought Leaders Ponder Off-Grid’s Potential To Slow Rural Migration
Mark Leonard – Project-Syndicate (13.04.17)

14 Rural Villages Chosen As Off-Grid Pilot In Guinea
LogUpdateAfrica (17.04.17)

Cow Poo Biogas Success In Zimbabwe
Lungelo Ndhlovu – Reuters (18.04.17)

12 Sub-Saharan Countries With Best Access To Electricity
Peter Pedroncelli – AFK Insider (18.04.17)


Ecodistrict Grows In Pittsburgh
Brian Conway – NextPittsburg (17.04.17)Waterloo’s Weber Reviews Renewables Financing Options
Robin Whitlock – RenewableEnergyMagazine (12.04.17)Trump’s Proposed DoE Cuts Cast Shadow Over Clean Energy Solutions
Catherine Cheney – Devex (13.04.17)

Biomass Thermal Energy Group Still Positive
Aaron Aber – BioMassMagazine (13.04.17)

National Guard Goes Solar In Minnesota
Joseph Bebon – SolarIndustry (17.04.17)

Cooperative Solar Sky Rockets In US 
GreatRiverEnergy (17.04.17)

Why Coal Doesn’t Fit In At The Party Anymore
Julian Spector – GreenTechMedia (17.04.17)

Science & Technology

Off-Grid Cell Provider Gotenna Raises $75 M
Steven Loeb – Vator (13.04.17)Schneider’s Nomad De Mers Travelling Exhibition Showcases Low-Energy Tech Innovation
BW Cio World (12.04.17)

Solar-Powered Water Harvesting Device Unveiled
Chelsea Harvey – WashingtonPost (13.04.17)

French Hybrid Energy Storage Specialist Nets Euros 30 M From European Investment Bank
Danielle Ola – Energy-Storage (13.04.17)

Off-Grid Mobile Homes In Vogue
Mike Szczys – HackADay (14.04.17)

New Plant-Inspired Electrode Could Boost Solar Energy Storage By Massive 3000%
Signe Dean – ScienceAlert


Off-Grid Autonomous Hydrogen Power System Powers Japanese Metro
BusinessWire (17.04.17)The Indonesian Question
Aretha Aprilia – TheJakartaPost (12.04.17)Majority Of Philippine’s Islands Suffering From Grid Black-Outs
Myrna M. Velasco – ManilaBulletin (12.04.17)

Roof-Top Solar Queensland’s Biggest “Power Station”
Giles Parkinson – OneStepOffTheGrid (12.04.17)

Columbia Researchers Review Barriers To Rural Electrification In India
Johannes Urpelainen – TheEnergyCollective (11.04.17)

Power Co-Ops Urged To Set Up Bank In Philippines
Victor V. Saulon – BWorldOnline (13.04.17)

Bangladesh Reveals Massive Grid Extension Plan
Humayan Kabir – FinancialExpress (14.04.17)

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