solar power

128, Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen, Solstice | Solar for All

Solstice provides access to clean, affordable solar energy for those who have been locked out of the solar market. Today’s conversation with Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen of Solstice is the fifth in a series on clean energy around the world. We spoke with Sam Goldman of d.light, a pioneer in solar energy for the developing world. We also spoke with Allison Archambault of EarthSpark International. They provide pre-pay electricity through a mini-grid in Haiti. We spoke to Harrison Leaf of Steama.co who helps mini-grid operators utilize “the internet of things,” wireless connectivity and a platform, primarily in Africa. We heard from Clementine Chambon, Amit Saraogi of Oorja. They are…

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127, Clementine Chambon, Amit Saraogi, Oorja | Rural Electrification of India Using Waste

Oorja’s biomass and solar-powered micro-grids provide affordable and reliable electricity to off-grid communities in rural India. In India, 450 million people lack access to reliable energy. This has several repercussions including a lack of economic development, poor health outcomes, gender inequity, poor education and more. Without reliable electricity, villagers rely on fossil-fuels such as kerosene and diesel. They spend up to 20% of household income on these dirty sources of power. At the same time, people in rural India produce 200 million tons of crop waste per year. This waste is usually burned in the field, producing greenhouse gasses. Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi met in a Climate-KIC workshop in…

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126, Harrison Leaf, Steama.co | Connect Mini-Grids to the Cloud

Mini-Grids are a way to connect more than a billion people to electricity. We’ve grown used to the idea of “the internet of things,” big data, and wireless connectivity. But can these technological breakthroughs be used to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world? And, will that technology work in the most rugged and off-grid places on earth? That’s what Steama.co does. On Social Entrepreneur, we’ve been looking at how the people around the world suffer from energy poverty can move up the energy ladder. When people don’t have access to reliable electricity, they use expensive, dirty fuels to power their lives. This hurts their…

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123, Allison Archambault, EarthSpark International | Solving Energy Poverty through Innovation

EarthSpark International is working to eradicate energy poverty. Energy poverty is the cycle of poverty that exist when people don’t have access to modern fuels, especially electricity. More than a billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity. And even more people do not have access to reliable electricity. For many of these people, they spend a very large portion of their income on energy services such as kerosene, candles, batteries and cell phone charging services. EarthSpark International researches and develops business models that can spin-off and scale to address specific aspects of energy poverty. EarthSpark provides a pre-pay microgrid in Les Anglais, Haiti. They serve over 2000 people…

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122, Sam Goldman, d.light | Affordable and Clean Energy for the Developing World

d.light provides access to reliable, affordable and clean energy solutions to the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy. Both of Sam Goldman’s parents for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Sam lived in several countries in Africa before he reached elementary school. He attended elementary school in Pakistan, middle school in Peru and high school in India. Dinner table conversations focused on child nutrition and improving farm efficiency. “I knew I wanted to link social impact with the environment and have a double bottom line wins,” he told me. “To do that, I needed to understand, for the poorest people in the world,…

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098, Gianluca Cescon, Devergy | Solar Micro Smart Grids

Solar Micro Smart Grids are Lighting up the Tanzanian Countryside After graduating from university in 2007, Gianluca Cescon and his friend Fabio De Pascale spent time backpacking in Guyana. As they made their way through small villages, they came across a number of broken solar power projects. Gianluca told me “The problem was not the money – it was the maintenance,” and “Where there is money, there is a business model.” After taking jobs in Amsterdam, Gianluca and Fabio could not let go of the idea of a better approach to solar power. They told one another, “Every day we spend not building the company we want to build, is…

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045, Francesco Piazzesi, Echale a tu casa | Housing As Community Development

Francesco Piazzesi uses housing as a means of community development. He grew up in the construction equipment industry. He noticed that the brick mason who spent his days building houses went home to a tin shack with a dirt floor. In many countries around the world, including Mexico, 2/3 of the houses built are built by the owners. The homeowners gather whatever materials they can afford and, step by step, over many years, they build their house. These houses are often not safe or sanitary and the vast majority have dirt floors. These houses also are not desirable, therefore, the homeowners do not build wealth to pass along to their…

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045, Francesco Piazzesi, Echale a tu casa | Housing As Community Development

005, Rick Hooper, Barefoot Power | Clean Energy in Developing Countries

As a Vice President for Philips Electronics, Rick Hooper was actively involved in Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. While in Thailand, he and his wife supported a local school and charity. There, he began to see the difference that for-profit companies can make. Today, Rick is the CEO of Barefoot Power, a for-profit social enterprise that assists people in developing countries to access affordable renewable energy while reducing poverty and creating new markets. Today, Barefoot Power has revenues in the tens of millions of dollars. In this episode of the podcast, we talk about: The trend toward and the challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The ambition of the developing…

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005, Rick Hooper, Barefoot Power | Clean Energy in Developing Countries

001, Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy | An Urgency for Impact

For Yoav Lurie, an early experience with life and death created a sense of urgency to make an impact. Today, Yoav is the founder and CEO of Simple Energy. Simple Energy is a software as a service that is taking on climate change by changing how millions of people save energy. Their customers save enough energy on a daily basis to power a small city. In this episode, Yoav describes his startup path from an early sense of justice, through the Techstars accelerator, and several pivots of their business.   Benefit Corporation Podcast Mentioned in this podcast:   Simple Energy: http://simpleenergy.com/ Simple Energy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimpleEnergy Yoav Lurie on Twitter:…

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001, Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy | An Urgency for Impact

000, Introduction, Social Entrepreneur | Episode Zero, My Journey to Social Entrepreneurship

For several months, I have been behind closed doors, creating the first episodes of this podcast. Since I knew nothing about podcasting, I have learned everything from scratch. The results are not perfect but as Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn has been quoted as saying, [spp-tweet tweet=”If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”] This is the “getting to know you” episode of the podcast Social Entrepreneur. In this initial episode, I tell the story of how a woman in Kenya, who simply wanted to get the best price for her chickens led to the founding of this podcast. I’ll describe what…

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000, Introduction, Social Entrepreneur | Episode Zero, My Journey to Social Entrepreneurship