Weekly Review January 1-7

Since we wrapped up the year with a Weekly Review on Africa’s prospects for prosperity in 2012, this week we’re taking a look at India. In renewable energy news, the common trend is the focus on India – this week was no exception. We think (and it seems the media agrees) that the clean tech industry will present significant opportunities for investment and development in India.
Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP via The Guardian
 Rural India Turns to Solar Power” by Sonia Narang on PRI’s The World NPR
India enjoys over 300 sunny days each year. Business solutions are increasingly allowing residents in rural, off-grid areas to take advantage of this renewable and natural resource. This article illustrates a simple example of how lighting extends working hours for a rural Indian silk farmer, and increases his productivity and income.
Solar ATMs Bring Change(s) to Rural India” by Jaymi Heimbuch on TreeHugger
An interesting intersection of solar energy and branchless banking, rural India is highly receptive to solar-powered ATMs. Vortex Engineering (whose tagline is “helping banks reach out”) created a solution called “Gramateller” (gram meaning “village”). A Gramateller requires just five hours of sunlight a day to keep the solar ATM charged. The State Bank of India bought 400, allowing for the disbursement of government payments in remote areas.
How solar power can help the billion people without electricity” by Carl Pope on The Guardian Environment Network
Following last month’s Durban climate change talks, the mainstream media is catching onto the demand and need for renewable energy in emerging markets. Even better, news stories are also capturing the benefits of energy’s contribution to poverty reduction. The Guardian highlights “pay-as-you-go” business models, as Simpa Networks is making famous, for their hand in moving the adoption of clean, reliable energy forward in India.
CleanTechnia assesses forecasts from Pike Research, determining that the future is bright in emerging markets. In India particularly, solar is now cheaper than diesel. Research shows that the declining cost of solar will promote distributed energy and rural microgrids. Most importantly, CleanTechnia acknowledges that private investment will “help spur growth and demand” and push the adoption of innovative energy infrastructure, accelerating economic development.

Follow us on Twitter.
Like us on Facebook 
Learn more about BETA