#peoplepowered: Early-stage solutions by grassroots innovators bring sustainable energy to remote and vulnerable populations
Many women and men innovate in the margins to solve problems for their communities.
The UNDP Accelerator Labs are on a mission to learn from and celebrate grassroots innovators and their ability to connect communities to sustainable, reliable and affordable energy sources.
Through the Accelerator Lab Network, we are amplifying grassroots-led solutions to move beyond business-as-usual top-down development programs. The Labs tap into collective intelligence using ethnography, teaming up with students and connecting innovators to each other and to policy makers.
With #peoplepowered, we celebrate local energy solutions and surface actionable intelligence to inform how we move forward to achieve universal clean energy for all.
Check out some #peoplepowered energy solutions below:
Shamsina: superhero sister duo creates sustainable solar water heaters for energy poor Egyptians Meet the two sisters behind Shamsina, Sarah and Deena Mousa. They created a solar-powered water heater that is clean and affordable, with the potential to provide low-income households in Egypt with healthier alternatives to heat water. Currently finishing a pilot phase of 25 heaters installed around the country, Shamsina will start manufacturing them for energy poor communities and people who want to switch to cleaner energy.
Liter of Light: A group that assists neighborhoods in need of light across 15 countries in South America
Meet the Liter of Light team in Argentina (Litro de Luz). Inspired by the global Liter of Light organization that started in the Philippines, they make quick-to-install public luminaires (complete electric light units) in neighborhoods with intermittent or no electricity. They are part of the global movement to provide and share simple light source solutions to communities using inexpensive and readily available materials, like re-used panels, batteries and recycled plastic bottles combined with photovoltaic energy and solar panels.
La Caja Verde: Can we live without refrigeration? Hector Pereyra designed a way to store fresh produce without electricity
Meet Argentinian Hector Pereyra, who designed La Caja Verde (The Green Box), a science-based storage container for fresh vegetables and fruits that does not use electricity. He works with Tali Signorile, a plastic artist, to build their designs. Together, their aim is to give people the means and knowledge to eat healthier, minimize greenhouse gas emissions and save money - the cost of The Green Box is a quarter of the price of a refrigerator.
500Rpm: An Argentinian team empowers remote communities to build low-cost open patent wind turbines to generate sustainable, affordable, reliable energy
When Argentinians Esteban Van Dam, an industrial engineer and Luciana Proietti, an anthropologist, encountered Scotsman Hugh Piggott’s open-patent design for a wind turbine, the flames of inspiration were fanned. The duo created 500Rpm, a non-profit organization in Argentina which adapts the Piggott wind turbine design to make low-cost renewable energy accessible in rural areas in Latin America.
Nripen Kalita is the inventor of a water turbine that can both light up rural homes and pump water to irrigate farmers’ lands in Assam, India
Meet Nripen Kalita, known as the inventor of the zero-head water turbine, a low-cost piece of equipment that generates electric energy from moving water and simultaneously pumps the water for irrigation or other purposes. It is portable, affordable and more efficient than conventional hydroelectric methods. His inspiration was to bring consistent power to rural communities like his own, who experience power cuts or have no electricity access at all.
Tsegaye Nega’s innovative cookstoves and biomass fuel pellets are designed to provide a healthier way to cook in Ethiopia
Meet Tsegaye Nega, who created a circular model for a healthier and more affordable way to cook. He has designed, prototyped, tested and iterated his ideas for a cook stove that is environmentally friendly and safer to use. His stoves also use fuel pellets which are made from biowaste and produce re-sellable charcoal, which he then repackages for use in air and water filters.