The latest technology of gadget maker Panasonic is the so-called Solar LED Lantern.

Renewable energy entrepreneurs who are citizens of a country in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are invited to apply to participate in an eight-day training programme for solar photovoltaic (PV) entrepreneurship starting on 18 November 2013.

With the World Bank moving away from funding coal power projects in developing countries, the focus has now been on exploiting Africa's renewable resources in an effort to provide safe and clean energy to more people.

Israel’s Nova Lumos is piloting a project that will enable Africans to buy increments of solar power through their mobile phone.

Acumen, a non-profit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, announced a $250,000 equity investment in SRE Solutions, a provider of high quality solar products to off-grid customers throughout rural Pakistan.

 

Consumers are increasingly exploring ways to supply their own energy - e.g., distributed generation and microgrids - and many observers have claimed that these alternatives may begin a death spiral for traditional utility business models. Is this true? What should utilities do now?

According to some experts, lower quality PV modules are entering emerging solar markets.

To help bring electricity to off-grid areas, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is partnering with World Bank Group and United Nations Foundation to provide developing countries with access to important technical documents that support rural electrification.

Indian company Selco Solar plans to set up an incubation centre in Odisha to train young entrepreneurs in solar energy. The company has started conducting introductory workshops to select interested youths in various districts of the state, who are keen to work in rural areas.

The power of solar energy extends beyond just the brightness of a lantern or panel. It is delivering justice to the marginalized or impoverished. Energy is empowerment. It's a catalyst for development.

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