Category: Energy

Husk Power Systems featured on PBS NewsHour

When the world’s largest democracy goes dark, it makes headlines. During the 2012 India blackouts, roughly 600 million people were left without power, making it the largest power outage in world history.  Not included among those without electricity were the more than 200,000 customers of Husk Power Systems (HPS) in the state of Bihar.  The[…..]

d.light design wins Zayed Future Energy Prize

Hot on the heels of Ziqitza Health Care winning the Social Impact Award in India, d.light design just announced it has been awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize for 2013. The Prize aims to catalyze innovation to create a new, sustainable energy future, and to inspire entrepreneurs to create a vision for a more environmentally[…..]

d.light celebrates 10 million customers served

Asif Ahmed beckoned us onto a makeshift porch with two worn chairs, a shelf with dusty books, and a steel table. A bulb glowed faintly in the corner. A minute after he ducked into his narrow passageway, he emerged with a bright orange lantern clutched in his hand. He proudly handed it to Atul, who[…..]

Avani Bio Energy Receives $250k Investment to Electrify Low Income Households in Rural India

Inventive solution converts hazardous pine needles into clean and affordable energy

Mumbai, India, September 26th, 2012 – Acumen Fund, a pioneering nonprofit global venture fund addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, today announced a commitment of $250K debt-equity investment in Avani Bio Energy Pvt. Limited, a growing company that creates pine needle gasification power[…..]

Converting Waste into Biofuel

Turning Poop into Profits: Waste Enterprisers Drive to Turn Waste Outputs into Fuel Inputs By Grant Tudor Waste Enterprisers CEO Ashley Murray (left), Teddy Nakato and Swaib Semiyaga, student researchers at a Kampala sewage treatment plant. (All images courtesy of Waste Enterprisers…

A day at Husk Power University

Acumen Fund invested in Husk Power Systems (HPS) in 2010 to help them scale their innovative business model of using discarded rice husks as a source for rural off-grid electricity generation. HPS has since expanded to over 90 plants all over Bihar, India, and has launched Husk Power University (HPU), a technical training institute for[…..]

Creating Variety in Cookstoves

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Villgro Fellows Blog, on March 7.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy.”
Another Villgro Fellow Nilima recently referred me to this post from the Acumen Fund Blog by Sean Moore, which discussed the fact that it is so difficult to find an improved cook[…..]

Making a Better Cookstove

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on, on February 26, in response to a post by Acumen Fund’s Sean Moore.
For the uninitiated, the Fat Tuesday paczki (pronounced: punch-key) is a fried sticky donut treat stuffed with cream or fruit filling. Enjoyed by the Christian faithful and secular alike, the pastry is[…..]

Starting from Scratch

SUNNY countries are often poor. A shame, then, that solar power is still quite expensive. But it is getting cheaper by the day, and is now cheap enough to be competitive with other forms of energy in places that are…

Issues for social entrepreneurs

As a social entrepreneur with a focus on Africa, numerous barriers need to be overcome to reach the customer and the end user.  The same issues hurt the well-known, more established companies as much as the companies which are raising…