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Power for All’s CEO, Kristina Skierka, refers to Ifeoma Malo (affectionately referred to as Ify) as part of “Power for All OG” and that was one of the main reasons she was perfect for an episode reflecting on the organization’s seventh anniversary. Ify was part of Power for All’s infancy as a country manager based in Nigeria back in 2016. She has since gone on to become a game-changer in the renewable energy sector and is now the leader of CleanTech Hub in Nigeria. This is a pioneering hybrid hub for the research, development, demonstration, and incubation of clean and green ideas and technologies in Africa and their validation for commercial-stage development.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, Kristina Skierka, Founder and CEO of Power for All, speaks with Alice Goodbrook, Innovation Lead for Energy Catalyst on the Energy Catalyst program, which funds private sector innovation and energy access. Energy Catalyst supports the UK and international businesses and organizations to develop highly innovative market-focused energy technologies to enable energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as South East Asia. Alice explains the programme, which started in 2014, has funded about 135 projects involving more than 300 unique organizations engaged in anything that's clean energy, from solar to storage to mini grids to energy efficiency and in 29 countries. She says grant funding programs like Energy Catalyst support technologies and business models that are at very early stages of development for conventional finance, such as investment or a bank loans. Yet they hold massive potential to change lives. “And this is where grant funding really comes into its own, because that allows an organization to try something out without it making or breaking the company. And if their idea does works, it allows them later to access conventional finance,” Alice says. She also adds that the programme has an accelerator side of it to for when the technologies are ready for market. “When your technology is ready for market, the accelerator will help your business grow. So that can be anything from helping with investments, creating a business plan or doing a bit of market research. Whatever your business needs to be able to become market ready,” she explains. Alice adds that collaboration and knowledge are key for the program and the innovators supported by Energy Catalyst have embraced a culture of learning and sharing with the industry. This was important in helping people not to make the same mistakes and to help the industry to progress much quicker. Alice notes that from her many years in the sector, she had come to accept with pride that the community in development and energy access space was much more open and collaborative than in any other fields she’s worked in.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, Kristina Skierka, Founder and CEO of Power for All, speaks with Prof Dan Kammen, a Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group. The conversation focuses on how the renewable energy sector has changed over the years and the role of innovations in driving energy access in peri-urban and rural communities, particularly the Pay-As-You-Go (PayGO) model. Dan notes solar energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. He attributes that partly to scaling up and manufacturing but mostly to figuring out how to work a system that, for a long time and maybe even today, is not bending over backward to accommodate clean energy. “Human connections, thinking about energy access, energy justice, and asking the gender and racial questions of inequality were never on the table as they are now,” he adds. He notes there are still problems in a world that still subsidizes fossil fuels more than investing in renewables but we also have a world of disruptive clean, socially just energy options. Dan notes PayGo is a democratic system that allows the consumers to see what energy costs and to pay for it, as they wish, in small units. He, however, cautions against opportunists who may take advantage of the system.
In this special podcast celebrating inspiring women leaders in renewable energy, we feature Lucia Wamala, Founder and CEO of Bakulu Power. She shares her journey into the DRE sector and the importance of gender equity in energy access.
Our guest in this special episode paying homage to women leaders in the sector is Dr Debra Rowe, the President of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. Dr Rowe says her career has been dominated by fulfling the need to give people information so that they can move out of energy poverty, and also ensure that they can own their own energy or at the very least, access affordable energy.
In the special episode paying homage to women leaders in the sector, our guest is Emily McAteer, co-founder and CEO at Odyssey Energy Solutions. She says investors are starting to fund women-led projects in the renewable energy sector. McAteer says this is a good sign that things are changing for the better for women in the male-dominated sector. However, efforts to address biases should be intensified.
In this special podcast celebrating inspiring women leaders in renewable energy, we feature Jennye Greene, an expert on energy access. She speaks on her journey into the DRE sector and the importance of gender equity in energy access. Jenny says as the renewable energy sector grows, there has to be deliberate efforts to ensure gender diversity. Conscious choices have to be made to make that happen!
In this podcast episode, Dr. Ghosh, the founder and CEO of Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and Power for All CEO, Kristina Skierka continue to dissect our 2022 top trends for energy access.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, Kristina Skierka speaks with Glenn Pearce-Oroz, Senior Director of International Relations and Special Projects at Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) on trends to watch out for in the Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) sector in 2022. At the beginning of every year, Power for All releases a trends report that highlights anticipated developments that will shape the sector in the year informed by feedback from a survey to partners on their predictions.
Energy poverty is rife in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. Pregnant women still give birth to their babies in the dark, critical surgeries are still carried out using candlelight and torchlights. It’s literally a matter of life and death for many poor sick children because there is no capacity to preserve vaccines in a refrigerated environment. In Nigeria, many primary healthcare centers (PHCs) across the geopolitical zones operate in darkness because they depend on the national electricity grid which is largely unreliable and is augmented with petrol or diesel-powered generator sets. In this podcast, the focus is on the installation of mini-grids in Karu Primary Health Centre in Abuja, Nigeria, by Volsus Energy. It represents the Volsus Solar for Health (VSFH) mini-grid program which is targeting to install 5,000 units of mini-grids across health centers to improve healthcare delivery services in Nigeria. Guest: Babatomiwa Bayo-Ojo, CEO/Head of Solar Power Plant Design, Off Grid Power Development and Rural Electrification at Volsus Energy Limited, Nigeria. Do you enjoy listening to Power for All podcasts? Visit our website (www.powerforall.org) to discover inspiring interviews on renewable electrification as the fastest, most cost-effective, and sustainable approach to universal energy access. Background reading: Volsus Solar for Health Initiative led by Babatomiwa Bayo-Ojo to to improve healthcare delivery services in Nigeria You can find a wealth of sector news analysis and data on our website powerforall.org as well as on our platform for energy access knowledge PEAK (www.powerforall.org/peak/). You can also sign up to receive our fantastic monthly newsletter and if you’d like to support our work, you can donate at powerforall.org/about/donate.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast which is a continuation of Power for All's integrated energy podcast series, Kristina Skierka, Founder and CEO of Power for All speaks with Jay Taneja, Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he heads the Systems Towards Infrastructure Measurement and Analytics (STIMA) Lab. Energy equity is the result of several factors like an unequal distribution of energy resources, an institutional bias on how and where money is invested, and a one-size-fits-all approach to electrification. In the past, when grid connections were the only option for electricity access, there wasn't really a great avenue towards equity. Today, decentralized renewables are an alternative to addressing energy equity by serving communities that are disconnected from the electricity grid. Energy equity also happens through the lens of reliability. People living in rural settings do not necessarily get the same service and the same access to electricity as people living in urban settings. In this podcast we explore what can be done in COP26 to address energy inequity and how net-zero commitments help to accelerate universal electrification. Guest: Jay Taneja, Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who studies infrastructure in the developed and developing world—including energy and building systems. Do you enjoy listening to Power for All podcasts? Visit our website (www.powerforall.org) to discover inspiring interviews on renewable electrification as the fastest, most cost-effective, and sustainable approach to universal energy access. You can find a wealth of sector news analysis and data on our website powerforall.org as well as on our platform for energy access knowledge PEAK (www.powerforall.org/peak/). You can also sign up to receive our fantastic monthly newsletter and if you’d like to support our work, you can donate at powerforall.org/about/donate.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, Anand Pathanjali speaks to Mike Bess and Ankit Agarwal from BESA 2 project on behalf of NIRAS LTS. NIRAS-LTS partnered with Aston University, E4tech and AIGUASOL for a two-year research project entitled ‘Bioenergy for Sustainable Local Energy Services and Energy Access in Africa - Phase 2’ (BSEAA2), part of the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) program, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The TEA program aimed to create innovative solutions for scaling up technologies and business models to support energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
In this episode of the Power for All's Integrated Energy podcast series, Kristina Skierka, founder and CEO of Power for All speaks with Dan Klinck, CEO of East African Power, an integrated renewable energy development company delivering affordable clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa. Dan explains his entrepreneurial and career journey, the importance of finance skills to end energy poverty, and the specific role of East African Power in the Utilities 2.0 project. The conversation also highlights the need for diversification as a business strategy for companies’ survival in the energy space.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, William Brent speaks with Richard Harrison, the head of Smart Power Myanmar. Richard is joined by Sam Duby, research partner of Smart Power Myanmar, who is from TFE Energy. In support of this year's UN food system summit, this conversation is part of a special series on the critical link between food systems and decentralized renewable energy. This discussion aims to shed light on game-changing ideas in Africa and Asia that can help ensure sustainable energy for all, improve farmers' lives and support economic growth.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, a forum for leaders working to end energy poverty, Power for All speaks with Shaily Jha of the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW). Shaily is CEEW’s energy access program lead, works in access to clean cooking with a focus on gender and social inclusion, leads the work on integrating a gender lens and empowering livelihoods, a USD 3 million initiative. The conversation is based on CEEW’s recent report -- Improving Women's Productivity and Incomes through Clean Energy in India.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast which is a continuation of the Power for All's integrated energy podcast series, Kristina Skierka, Founder and CEO of Power for All speaks with Riccardo Ridolfi, Chief Executive Officer of Equatorial Power: a mini-grid company that pioneered off-grid electrification and productive with substantial business model innovation focused around closing the agro-processing value gap across rural Africa. Riccardo is also a Board Member of Umeme Ltd, Uganda’s largest distribution utility and Co-founder of EnerGrow. This conversation centers around EP’s journey and business approach, the significance of an integrated approach and partnership for mini-grids to work with the utility. This discussion sheds light on the motivating factor for utilities to see mini-grids as a partner and not as a threat.
Today Kristina Skierka speaks with Aaron Leopold, the CEO of EnerGrow. EnerGrow is a tech start-up growing sustainable, productive, rural electricity demand in Africa, through an innovative mix of productive asset financing, training and digital ID based technology. The podcast covers a range of topics, including Aaron’s career journey, the importance of alliance finance to drive rural jobs and effective mini-grid business models. A part of Power for All's integrated energy podcast series, this show also does a deep dive into energy access partnerships and the role of productive use and appliance financing in the 2.0 Uganda pilot, Twaake. The Utilities 2.0 Twaake project in Uganda is a collaboration between centralized and decentralized energy companies including East Africa Power, EnerGrow, Equatorial Power, Power for All, Umeme, The Rockefeller Foundation among other partners with a goal to bring faster connections, increase productive use of electricity, improve grid reliability and stability, reduce grid losses, promote economic growth in rural communities, and improve business profitability.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, William Brent speaks with Rajneesh Rana of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). In support of this year's UN food system summit, the conversation with EESL is part of a special series on the critical link between food systems and decentralized renewable energy. The discussion aims to shed light on game changing ideas in Africa and Asia that can help ensure sustainable energy for all, improve farmer's lives, and support economic growth.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, William Brent speaks with Kaushik Ramakrishnan, an expert working to transform and scale smallholder farming through innovative financial solutions. In support of this year’s UN Food Systems Summit, this podcast is part of a special series focused on the critical link between food systems and decentralized renewable energy, aimed at highlighting game-changing ideas in Africa and Asia that can help ensure sustainable energy for all and improve farmers’ lives.
In this episode of the Power for All podcast, Kristina Skierka, Founder and CEO of Power for All speaks with Florence Nsubuga, Chief Operating Officer of Umeme Ltd., Uganda’s largest distribution utility. Florence is also a team leader of the project Girls for Girls, a forum that empowers women between the ages of 15 and 35 years to become leaders in their own communities. The conversation aims to highlight the work of Umeme along with the opportunity of working together to end energy poverty and achieve universal energy access by 2030. The discussion sheds more light on the launch of the first integrated energy pilot dubbed Twaake in Uganda and Utilities 2.0 globally. The Utilities 2.0 is a global initiative started by Power for All; the Twaake pilot includes a group of implementing partners in addition to Umeme: East African Power, EnerGrow, Equatorial Power, Makerere University and the Rockefeller Foundation. Umeme was established in 2005 and is the only cross-listed electricity distributor in Uganda and Nairobi stock exchanges. It is responsible for 95% of the grid footprint in Uganda, with a mandate to expand electricity access and maintain the distribution network. Despite these efforts,access to electricity in the country stands at 24% as of 2019.
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