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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Zara Solar of Tanzania wins Africa Award

from Blog

Appropriate Technology Roundup 07/27/07
by Catherine Laine

July 27th, 2007
WorldBike: Bikes that Haul, for All from Treehugger

Big Boda Load Carrying Bicycle from WorldBike

[Worldbike, an] international amalgam of bicycle designers and bike industry types has teamed with international development folk, to conjure up “transportation solutions and create income-generating opportunities for the world’s poor.” As they say, “all across the developing world, people use bicycles the way we use pickup trucks and school busses. However, the bicycles sold in developing countries are those designed for recreation and are ill-suited to carrying loads.” Enter stage right the open source gurus. They make available bicycle and accessory blueprints, plus construction photos.

Award winning Solar Companies from Timbuktu Chronicles

Two African solar energy companies won Ashden Award prizes [this year]… Tanzania’s Zara Solar Ltd. won the first prize for the Africa Award (£30,000) for providing high-quality, reliable solar-home-systems at affordable prices to communities lacking access to a reliable source of energy. The second prize for the Africa Award (£10,000) was snatched by Deng Ltd of Ghana for “developing a viable and sustainable business for the provision of solar-home-systems to rural areas where access to grid supply is limited.”

Sun-powered ovens for China and Darfur from Inhabitat

Operation Blessing, a non-profit committed to “breaking the cycle of suffering” has taken the age-old technique of harnessing the sun’s heat to cook food, and turned it into a viable design for off-the-grid, minimal-resource third-world demographics. In the Gansu Province of China, and soon in Darfur camps, the sun-powered parabolic solar oven allows the suffering and hungry to cleanly cook and boil water and without firewood, using only that always-renewable energy source: the sun.

Wind Powered Cell Phone Base Stations from Afrigadget

The company WinAfrique designs and builds hybrid wind and diesel turbine systems for powering cell phone base stations. Kenya’s biggest wireless companies Safaricom and Celtel have contracted with WinAfrique.

HOW TO - Make DC Bicycle pedal power generators from MAKE

Here you can learn to create your own green power electricity using a pedal power bicycle generator. We setup the 24 bicycle power generators at the 2007 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, 60,000 people a day for 3 days in the desert - Indio California. The bike generators were used for charging cell phones.

Potential Power Source: The Ocean? from NPR

With green energy booming, cities around the country are getting creative in cutting energy costs while being environmentally conscious. San Francisco is looking at an unusual power source: the ocean.

Q&A: Solel’s president, Avi Brenmiller from Earth2Tech

Israeli solar thermal company Solel just scored a deal with PG&E to build an estimated $2 billion massive solar thermal plant in California’s Mohave Desert. Not a lot of people have heard of the 250-person company, or even really solar thermal technology for that matter. So we grabbed a few questions with Solel’s President Avi Brenmiller in downtown San Francisco:

I did not know this.

Q). What is the solar energy industry like in Israel?

A). We have the solar powered water heaters which are on each roof in Israel by law – and this is very advanced [emphasis added]. However at the end of the day it is less than 3% of the total consumption of energy in Israel. What we are trying to do is make it a major factor.

Sioux City, IA, Breaks Ground on “Poop to Profits” Plant from Sustainablog

Minneapolis-based Bison Renewable Energy broke ground on what will be the world’s largest methane gas facility in Sioux City, Iowa. When the plant begins operations early next year, it will hold up to 11 million gallons of cow manure, and turn that yucky stuff into methane gas.

Tsunami-proofing South India’s Coast From Grassroots Up from Treehugger

Current efforts to protect people living along South Asian coasts from another devastating tsunami do not necessarily entail high-tech, governmental schemes. In fact, it is now concerned local populations who are getting involved in the conservation of natural buffer zones such as mangroves and sand dunes, which have been shown to absorb much of the damage.

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