Sub-Saharan Africa

Checking in on Akon lighting Africa

Musician Akon has provided 14 African nations with solar-powered electricity via street lamps and solar panels as part of “Akon Lighting Africa,” a project aimed at providing the continent of Africa with low-cost, sustainable electricity.

Off-grid solar funding concentrated in just three companies

With a previous 50-50 split between equity and debt investment funding for the off-grid market shifting to 84% debt, and commentators stating most of this year’s backing was agreed before the onset of Covid-19, fears are mounting about the prospects for the sector.

Clean energy funding roundup: minigrids, nanogrids, microreactors and batteries

Investors continue to invest and clean energy entrepreneurs continue to innovate — despite, or because of, global setbacks.

Women entrepreneurs are essential to last-mile distribution of renewable energy technologies

A new fund has been launched to provide microgrants of $3,000 to $10,000 to the women entrepreneurs and community organizations working to provide clean, reliable and primarily off-grid power to remote communities.

Morning Brief: 5 GW of solar coming to Africa, the pressing need for panel recycling

Also in the brief: Pennsylvania has its first project using Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy financing, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana has signed two executive orders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance coastal resilience and more.

From Rwanda to Riverside: How the solar industry provided new opportunities for an immigrant entrepreneur

When Covid-19 hit his small solar engineering business, CEO Methode Maniraguha said, no furloughs or layoffs — we’ll pivot.

Energy investment roundup: $50M for drinking water from solar-powered ‘hydropanels’

Also African microgrids, $200 million for solid-state batteries, $20 million for utility field safety, billions for infrastructure, and millions for deep tech.

Earth’s magnetic field affecting PV panel performance

Researchers in Kenya say the geomagnetic field could reduce solar panel conversion efficiency 0.21% between the equator and a 50-degree latitude. Their analysis showed the complex magnetic field can determine increases in module fill factor and falls in maximum power.

South African startup raises $3M for crowd-funding solar project finance with a crypto bitcoin twist

Since financing and developing a commercial solar project wasn’t enough of a challenge, SunExchange adds crowdfunding and cryptocurrency to the mix.

Morning Brief: Mysterious Rashba effect detected in bulk perovskites, Zanzibar’s ‘solar mammas’

Also in the brief: SEIA disappointed by USTR’s decision to remove Section 201 tariff exclusions for bifacial solar modules, plus VC investment in energy and grid startups.

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