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Smart Villages News 113 - A Sunny End To The Year

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Dear Blue Blue,

Even as I write this editorial on the shortest day of the year, my desk is full of solar power stories, chief among them the news that solar power is now officially cheaper than wind. This is great testament to the hundreds of thousands of people around the world - from research scientists to front line social enterprises - that have literally lit the way. Equally important, however, is to recognise how far we have moved from the first clunky panels and solar lanterns to sophisticated mini-grid installations now able to support not only domestic uses of energy but also increasingly productive uses. Fortunately, this seems to be happening if you read through this week’s articles that include a wider range of politicians acknowledging that solar and other renewables have a key role to play in at least rural electrification. I hope that next year will see this sunny outlook continuing.

Top Stories

Dakar Workshop
IEA Looks To The Future
Renewable power has seen a dramatic expansion in recent years thanks to sharply falling costs. But this growth has raised a new challenge for power-system operators and regulators: wind and solar PV have sometimes been deployed before the power system, including both policies and infrastructure, was ready to handle such variable supplies. [...]

IEA (14.12.16)

Solar Becomes Cheaper Than Wind
There’s a transformation happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity. There have been isolated projects in the past where this happened: An especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. [...]

Tom Randall - Msn (17.12.16)

Emerging Nations Continue To Take The Lead In Renewables Say Climatescope
Climatescope, the clean energy country competitiveness index and online tool supported by the UK and US governmentsoffers a compelling portrait of clean energy activity in 58 emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. The group includes major developing nations China, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as dozens of others. [...]

PRNewsWire (15.12.16)

AfDB Approves Africa Renewable Energy Initiative
The Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have endorsed the proposal by the Bank’s Management to serve as Trustee to administer and manage the resources of Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), and also to host the AREI Independent Delivery Unit as requested by African Heads of State and Government. [...]

WorldStage (16.12.16)

Solar Power Just Got Mindblowingly Cheaper Trumpets BNEF 
And now, perhaps, also the unlikely savior of our climate and planet. Thanks largely to a major decline in the cost of equipment, solar power has become the cheapest new energy source on the market.  [...]

Eric March - upWorthy (16.12.16)

DC Solar Microgrids Prove A Success In Himalayas - Tata Centre Mit
This June, I had the opportunity to travel with IEEE Smart Village and the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) to Zanskar Valley in the mountainous region of Ladakh, India. As a Graduate Fellow with the Tata Center for Technology and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a key part of my research is analyzing and modeling the potential for smart solar micro-grids for rural electrication. On this journey, I saw it in action. [...]

TataCenter (01.12.16)

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Battery Storage System Manufacture Starts In Morocco 
Kate Douglas - HowWeMadeItInAfrica (19.12.16)

Money Pours Into Mobisol
Ivan Shumkov - SeeNewsRenewables (13.12.16)

Clear Legal And Policy Framework Still Lacking For Off-Grid Says Kenya’s Omeike
AllAfrica (13.12.16)

Scottish Study Shows Windfarms Really Do Cut Greenhouse Emissions
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Off-Grid Solar Booms In Africa Thanks To US Boost
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Musk Discovers Africa
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Zambian Expert Promotes Efficiency As Key “First Fuel”
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Solar People Appeals For Help In Ghana
NewsGhana (17.12.16)

Cairo Renews Interest In Renewables
Jacob Wirtschafter - TheMediaLine (19.12.16)