Smart Villages News 148 – Energy equality – now or never

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Dear Subscriber,

These past weeks, we’ve witnessed the destruction of hurricanes and flooding from South Asia to the Caribbean. As we all know, it will take not only days but weeks, months, and sometimes years to fully re-build from these disasters, and at the moment, the most urgent needs are food, water, and shelter. In the articles below, you’ll find one on the importance of local aid groups to disaster relief. This brings to mind also the importance of resilience and of supporting local efforts to increase resilience in communities. While disasters can be unpredictable and entail a devastating loss of lives and livelihoods, there are also ways that preparation can help communities. In the article below on Puerto Rico, the authors note that Hurricane Irma could leave it without electricity for months – this points out the central issue of infrastructure and government-level preparation. For remote, rural communities, the same issue exists, albeit at a smaller level: how to prepare, how to survive – and if there’s time, how to preserve existing infrastructure?
On a related topic, this week, Smart Villages attended the “Energy and Equality” conference held by the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) at Durham University. This is an apt moment to discuss energy and equality, and equality in general as often the most vulnerable people and communities are affected by disasters. Molly Hurley-Depret of Smart Villages chaired two excellent panels that focused on Market Solutions and featured speakers working closely with community-based energy entrepreneurs. Stay tuned for our September webinar with LCEDN, which will feature several excellent speakers from this conference.Quick update: We’ll be back with more news you can use on October 4th! The newsletter will also move to a twice-per-month schedule – but no worries: it will have the same great content!

Top Stories

Dakar Workshop
South Asia’s Worst Flooding In A Decade Kill Thousands And Decimates Millions Of Hectares Of Crops
Millions of hectares of crops have been destroyed across south Asia following the worst flooding in a decade, prompting aid agencies to warn of a looming food and financial crisis. As floodwaters receded, one aid executive said: “The scale of the devastation is hard to comprehend”. […]

Harriet Agerholm – Independent (07.09.17)Hurricane Irma: Survivors Tell Of ‘Utter Devastation’ On Caribbean Islands
Residents of the British Virgin Islands say they have witnessed scenes of “unbelievable” devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, and warned of widespread looting and a shortage of water and shelter for those left homeless by the storm. Irma severed links with the outside world and left thousands of tourists and local people desperate to escape after it pounded islands along the north-eastern edge of the Caribbean. […]

Justin McCurry – The Guardian (10.09.17)

Irma Could Leave Puerto Rico Without Electricity For Months
Several hours before Hurricane Irma was expected to swipe the Northern coast of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, a huge swath of the island was already in the dark — and could stay that way for months.At a Wednesday morning press conference, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told reporters that 20 percent of the public utility company’s 1.5 million users had already lost power. He was upbeat, assuring the public that help was on the way. […]

Alexia Fernández Campbell – Vox (06.09.17)

UN Calls For More Global Commitment To SDGs
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has called for escalated efforts by Nations for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the 2030 deadline is met. […]

Vanguard (09.09.17)

New Research Shows Solar Energy May Have Been Undervalued
Has the future reach of solar energy been underestimated? New research shows it may be so.Previous studies have estimated the share of solar energy by the year 2050 would be between 5 and 17 percent, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison news release. However, a recent study from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change showed the percentage of solar energy worldwide will be three times higher than originally projected. More specifically, the share by 2050 will likely be between 30 and 50 percent. […]

Breann Schossow – WPR (11.09.17)


New report: “Smart Rural Development”

Final report from Smart Villages / EASAC report in Brussels
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New report

Final report from our Latin America engagement
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New report

State-level workshops in India
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Webinars: Watch on demand!

Latest webinar: India, off-grid solar energy & healthcare
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Featured Presentation

Powering primary healthcare through solar in India
Smart Villages


Malawi: The Power Of Solar
Nick Schonfeld – HuffingtonPost (09.09.17)German Envoy To Turkey Calls For Further Cooperation On Energy Projects
Selva Ünal – Daily Sabah (09.09.17)They Should Be Much Bigger’: The Heavy Toll Of Hunger On Madagascar’s Children
Karen McVeigh – The Guardian (06.09.17)Résultats Mitigés De La Réduction De La Malnutrition En Afrique
Julien Chongwang – SciDevNet (05.09.17)

Chinese, African Scientists Endorse Joint Pact To Promote Sustainability Agenda
huaxia – NewChina (07.09.17)

Phanes Opens African Solar Power Incubator To Boost Energy
BusinessDay (06.09.17)

Liberia: Energy Solution To Light Up Totota Rural Community
Esi-Africa (06.09.17)

Liberia To Benefit From India’s $2 Billion Solar Projects For Africa
Leroy M. Sonpon, III – LiberianObsever (06.09.17)

Nigeria Can Become Global Energy Powerhouse Through Digitsation
Goddy Egene – This Day (06.09.17)

AfDB: Gabriel Negatu Unpacks Japan-Africa Energy Initiative
Esi-Africa (05.09.17)


The Situation Is Overwhelming’: Aid Workers On Responding To Hurricane Irma
Kate Hodal – The Guardian (09.09.17)Mexico’s Green Expo Shows That A Gigawatt PVMarket Is Around The Corner
Eckhart Gouras – Pv-Magazine (08.09.17)Renewable Energy Boost – Clinton Foundation Confident That Jamaica Will Tap Into More Natural Resources For Power Grid
Jesse Grestin – The Gleaner (10.09.17)Could Papayas Help Hawaii Become Energy Independent?
Sara Novak – SierraClub (12.09.17)

Bill Gates: Don’t Expect Charities To Pick Up The Bill For Trump’s Sweeping Aid Cuts
Kate Hodal – The Guardian (13.09.17)

SDGs and Global Development

Once This Was All Trees, But They Burned Them To Plant Cocoa’: The Ruin Of West Africa’s Rainforest
Ruth Maclean – The Guardian (13.09.17)Commentary: Driving Capital To Impact Investing With An Eye On 2030
PIOnlineGlobal Water And Land Meetings Address Drought
Lauren Anderson – IISD

Science & Technology

MIT Researchers Turn To Ancient Design To Solve One Of Renewable Energy’s Biggest Challenges
Tim Nelson – ArchitecturalDigest (11.09.17)

UN Science Report To Guide Countries On The SDGs
Anita Makri – SciDev (06.09.17)The Future Of Electrical Energy Storage Solutions – No Lithium Supremacy
HuffingtonPost (08.09.17)

Science Academies Should Influence Education In Africa
Ochieng’ Ogodo – SciDev (04.09.17)

Local Innovation, International Impact: SMEs And The Itu Telecom World Awards
EuropeanString (09.09.17)


Local Aid Groups Are Key To Disaster Relief. So Why Are They Overlooked?
Malaka Gharib – NPR (08.09.17)Cambodian Biodigester Finds Success, Attracts Investors
Tanushree Rao – SciDevNet (11.09.17)India’s Power Sector Stuck In The Doldrums
Indian Express (10.09.17)Philippines To Pursue Decentralised Electricity Strategy For Islands – Cites Disaster Vulnerability
Jordeene Sheex Lagare – The Manila Times (09.09.17)

Dulas Solar-Powered Refrigerators Save Vaccines In Myanmar
Danielle Kirsh – Medical Design and Outsourcing (08.09.17)

A Toilet Is The Star Of India’s Hit Rom-Com
Kamala Thiagarajan – NPR (07.09.17)

Event: [Ieeemy] Digital Sarawak: Smart Villages Paving The Way For Accessible Rural Communities Workshop

Politics Podcast: Mark Butler On Energy Uncertainty
Michelle Grattan – TheConversation (12.09.17)

Energy Regulators Look To Water Crisis For Lessons

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