Going green is more than just a trend in the suburbs. New start-up projects and companies are attempting to utilize renewable energy in order to power their operations. Some of these companies have launched engineering efforts to get their facilities off the fossil fuel grid, while others have partnered with organizations in order to deliver new technology. Some of these entrepreneurs have saved millions of dollars and countless gigawatts of energy by choosing solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal power.
New Hampshire’s Green Initiative
Some of the money give out through the federal stimulus in the past few years has gone towards renewable energy operations. One such example has been the University of New Hampshire’s Green Launching Pad, an operation that seeks to provide capital to student entrepreneurs looking to develop businesses in the state’s green markets. Revolution Energy, a start-up company based out of Portsmouth, has succeeded beyond any other Launching Pad initiative. It received a sixty thousand dollar grant in 2010 that allowed it to pursue new customers and projects.
This energy developer has a financial model that attempts to connect hosts in New Hampshire to renewable energy services. They go into a house or office and provide whatever finance is needed to get renewable energy into the system. By providing the financing, their clients have no costs up front and will be able to see the benefits first-hand. Then, like any other power company, they pay for the electricity they use.
Nepal and Solar Power
Since the Himalaya Mountains act as the single largest cloud barrier in the entire world, it would seem obvious that the mountain nation of Nepal would be able to capitalize on solar power. After all, with nearly every day of the year featuring a cloudless sky, what could stop the solar cells from generating more than enough electricity to fuel the small nation?
During a roundtable discussion of Kantipur Publications in Kathmandu, however, the newly-founded Solar Electric Association of Nepal claimed that it will look towards mixed energy in the future. Though it has the basic needs met with solar energy, with cells in rural areas and heaters producing energy from photo voltaic units, it still requires subsidization in order to be affordable. The company, having succeeded at providing solar power in place of fossil fuels, now looks to provide many more millions of kilowatts through hydroelectric power development in a sustainable model.
Building a Solar Market
Though some efforts to promote clean energy in under-developed African nations proved to sputter out, new entrepreneurs are looking for engineering solutions to meet the continent’s energy demands without resorting to oil, gas, or coal. The Global Village Energy Partnership International is an entrepreneurial effort that has taken a five year approach to developing energy in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It offers technology training to the locals as well as a loan for entrepreneurs to take up the mantle of providing energy themselves. Distribution is one of the hardest tasks in Africa’s large-scale solar market, since the continent is three times the size of the United States but many areas have no infrastructure to provide the basis for solar power operations.
By using social networks, the Partnership is recruiting new solar entrepreneurs in order to boost sales in the developed African cities so that it can create self-sustainable markets in the entire continent. With an estimated value of some thirty billion dollars for the costs of energy for Africa, there is both a lot of money to be made and great potential to secure renewable energy sources instead of keeping nearly a billion people dependent on fossil fuels.
About the Author: William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. In this article, he describes a few projects surrounding renewable energy and aims to encourage further study with a electrical engineering masters online.