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.

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), World Bank Group and United Nations Foundation have announced a new cooperative agreement to provide developing countries with access to important technical documents that support rural electrification, at a specially discounted price.

A clean tech expert is hoping to tap into crowd-funding and community ownership models to help install solar energy and address the soaring costs of dirty fossil fuels in remote Western Australian communities.

Many "base of the pyramid" approaches take one product targeted at the poor and scale it up for a mass market without considering the diverse needs of poor people living in different contexts.

Off-grid communication has brought change to rural areas. Even more will come from off-grid power — wind, small hydro, biomass, but mostly solar. Power drives almost everything else — cooking without gathering wood and inhaling smoke, clean water, radios, fans, eventually TVs. The problem is how to attract investment to the sector.