Archive of Topic: Africa

The Platform for Energy Access Knowledge

The Plat­form for Energy Access Knowl­edge (PEAK) is a project part­ner­ship between RAEL and Power for All,  a global cam­paign to accel­er­ate the market-​​​​based growth of decen­tral­ized renew­ables as the key to achiev­ing uni­ver­sal energy access. The cam­paign, estab­lished in 2014, serves as a col­lec­tive voice for busi­nesses and civil soci­ety focused on off-​​​​grid renew­able solu­tions. The research prod­ucts of this part­ner­ship will pro­vide crit­i­cal evi­dence needed to sup­port wide­spread adop­tion of dis­trib­uted technologies.

PEAK is an inter­ac­tive infor­ma­tion exchange plat­form designed to help aggre­gate and repack­age the best research and infor­ma­tion on energy access into com­pelling data-​​​driven sto­ries for a range of tar­get audi­ences to ensure max­i­mum vis­i­bil­ity, usabil­ity and dis­cov­er­abil­ity of that infor­ma­tion by indi­vid­u­als, orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties work­ing to make energy ser­vices acces­si­ble to all.

The Power for All Cam­paign is directed by Kristina Skierka. PEAK research is directed by Dr. Rebekah Shirley, cur­rent Post­doc­toral Researcher at RAEL.

See PEAK’s Launch Press Release, March 2016

See PEAK prod­ucts here and look out for our web por­tal soon to come.

Recently, PEAK con­ducted a quan­ti­ta­tive analy­sis that exam­ines the poli­cies of five high-​​growth mar­kets striv­ing to achieve uni­ver­sal energy access — India and Bangladesh in Asia, and Kenya, Tan­za­nia and Ethiopia in Africa — and high­lights areas for pol­icy pri­or­i­ti­za­tion in Low Energy Access coun­tries. Our research is cur­rently under peer-​​review. See an unpub­lished, draft/​working ver­sion of our man­u­script and look out for more infor­ma­tion soon.

Isa Ferrall

Isa Fer­rall is a MS/Ph.D. stu­dent in the Energy and Resources Group and Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She is inter­ested in the impact of renew­able energy on rural elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, global devel­op­ment, and the domes­tic energy sec­tor. Pre­vi­ously, Isa gained expe­ri­ence on both the tech­ni­cal and applied sides of renew­able energy. She researched inno­v­a­tive energy mate­ri­als at Duke Uni­ver­sity as a National Acad­emy of Engi­neer­ing Grand Chal­lenge Scholar and at the National Renew­able Energy Lab­o­ra­tory as a Depart­ment of Energy Intern. She also has ana­lyzed sys­tem data for Off-​​Grid Elec­tric, a solar home sys­tem com­pany oper­at­ing in east Africa. Isa grad­u­ated Magna Cum Laude from Duke Uni­ver­sity in 2015 with dis­tinc­tion in Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and a Cer­tifi­cate in Energy and the Environment.

The Human Needs Project /​ Kibera Town Center

For the Human Needs Project full web­site, click on:




Pro­fes­sor Kam­men, serves as the CTO of the Human Needs Project, high­lighted how the Kib­era Town Cen­ter Project pro­vides basic ser­vices (water, toi­lets, show­ers, laun­dry) and empow­er­ment ser­vices (busi­ness skills train­ing, micro-​​credit, WiFi cafe, health kiosk, green mar­ket­place) to over 800 peo­ple per day. These inte­grated ser­vices pro­vide a holis­tic solu­tion to the chal­lenges of liv­ing in a slum. Together, they can help peo­ple with a road map to cre­at­ing a bet­ter life.


Kam­men demon­strated how clean, local energy can empower vibrant and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity cen­ters. Actress and Human Needs Project Founder and Pres­i­dent Con­nie Nielsen said, “Our vision is to develop a net­work of com­mu­nity empow­er­ment cen­ters them­selves pow­ered by clean energy, which is the most reli­able form of power”



Avila, Nkiruka

Nkiruka Avila is a grad­u­ate stu­dent in the Energy and Resources Group at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She grad­u­ated with Summa cum Laude hon­ors in Petro­leum Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of Okla­homa. She has worked in var­i­ous sec­tors of the energy indus­try, from engi­neer­ing design and pro­duc­tion to end-​​use dis­tri­b­u­tion and mar­ket­ing. Her cur­rent research inter­ests include renew­able energy inte­gra­tion, sus­tain­able energy devel­op­ment and rural electrification.

Program on Conflict, Climate Change and Green Development

For a video sum­ma­riz­ing the pro­gram, click here.

The impacts of cli­mate change are already being felt across Africa, lead­ing to greater nat­ural resource scarcity, which has con­tributed to vio­lent con­flict in Dar­fur (Sudan), Mali, and Soma­lia, among oth­ers. This trend is likely to con­tinue, as Africa is pro­jected to be among geo­gra­phies most severely impacted by cli­mate change. Though the path­way from cli­mate change to greater nat­ural resource scarcity to vio­lence is not a direct one, the risks of con­flict will increase as liveli­hoods are threat­ened due to greater scarcity of food, water or arable land. With lower gov­ern­ment capac­i­ties and lim­ited fund­ing to adapt to cli­mate change impacts, and a rel­a­tively weak con­flict prevention/​resolution archi­tec­ture in place, cli­mate change is likely to have an increas­ingly impor­tant impact on future con­flicts in Africa.

This assess­ment neces­si­tates new pol­icy plan­ning and devel­op­ment think­ing. Despite the threats, the broader global inter­est in cli­mate change also presents sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ties to mobi­lize new inter­est and momen­tum for pro­mot­ing green devel­op­ment in Africa. This can con­tribute to an effec­tive con­flict pre­ven­tion strat­egy, and can also drive increased invest­ment and more diver­si­fied economies, improved gov­er­nance and devel­op­ment out­comes, and greater polit­i­cal sta­bil­ity. This project aims to build the the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal case for a new model for green devel­op­ment, which can pro­vide both polit­i­cal and eco­nomic returns, while deliv­er­ing both cli­mate sen­si­tive and con­flict sen­si­tive development.

Our 3–5 year goal is to seed and sup­port a suc­cess­ful “green” pilot in a still to be selected geog­ra­phy in Africa. A suc­cess­ful pilot will require polit­i­cal buy-​​in and local polit­i­cal cham­pi­ons, as well as new exter­nal invest­ment to sup­port green devel­op­ment projects. This can serve as a model that helps demon­strate the polit­i­cal and eco­nomic poten­tial of a green approach, the eco­nomic poten­tial of a green frame­work to exter­nal investors, as well as effec­tive con­flict pre­ven­tion. It is our hope that the model, once proven, will be scal­able in other geographies.

Asfaw, Solomon Abede

Research Inter­ests:
Solomon’s cur­rent research inter­ests include: grid inte­gra­tion of inter­mit­tent renew­able energy resources (PV and Wind); stor­age require­ments for very high grid pen­e­tra­tion of Renew­able; load-​​side man­age­ment analy­sis for high grid pen­e­tra­tion; employ­ment of SWITCH for the East African Power Pool con­sor­tium of utilities.
Solomon received his under­grad­u­ate degree in Physics from Bahir Dar Uni­ver­sity, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia; an M.Sc. degree in Physics from the Nor­we­gian Uni­ver­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Trond­heim, Nor­way; a sec­ond M.Sc. and PhD degree spe­cial­iz­ing in energy sys­tem analy­sis from Ben-​​Gurion Uni­ver­sity of the Negev, Sede Boqer, Israel. He was was a Philo­mathia post­doc­toral fel­low at Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia — Berkeley.

Jacobson, Arne

Dr. Jacob­son is the SERC Direc­tor and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Envi­ron­men­tal Resources Engi­neer­ing at Hum­boldt State Uni­ver­sity. He is also the coor­di­na­tor of HSU’s master’s pro­gram in Energy Tech­nol­ogy and Pol­icy. Dr. Jac­bo­son has a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley and an M.S. in Envi­ron­men­tal Sys­tems (engi­neer­ing option) from Hum­boldt State. His areas of research inter­est include renew­able energy tech­nol­ogy, energy and cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion pol­icy, and energy access for low income peo­ple in devel­op­ing coun­tries. His work is inter­dis­ci­pli­nary, com­bin­ing renew­able energy engi­neer­ing, energy pol­icy, and a social geog­ra­phy based approach to inter­na­tional devel­op­ment stud­ies. Dr. Jacob­son has exten­sive inter­na­tional work expe­ri­ence in Africa, South Asia, and Latin Amer­ica, includ­ing recent work focused on the devel­op­ment of an inter­na­tional pro­gram to ensure the qual­ity of afford­able LED-​​based off-​​grid light­ing sys­tems appro­pri­ate for use by low income peo­ple in devel­op­ing countries.

Kirubi, Charles

Gathu Kirubi, brings strong ana­lyt­i­cal skills and demon­strated man­age­ment expe­ri­ence cut­ting across renew­able energy, rural devel­op­ment and micro-​​finance. Aside from hold­ing a PhD in Energy & Rural Devel­op­ment from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Berke­ley, a pre­mier insti­tu­tion in the field, Kirubi brings to Solar Tran­si­tions over 10 years  expe­ri­ence in inno­va­tion and lead­er­ship in design­ing and man­ag­ing rural energy projects in East Africa. In 2001, Kirubi won the pres­ti­gious Ash­den Award in recog­ni­tion of “lead­er­ship and inno­va­tion in pio­neer­ing the start-​​up of a revolv­ing fund credit scheme that sup­ports schools and micro-​​enterprises with energy effi­cient wood stoves in Kenya.

In addi­tion to con­sult­ing on energy and micro­fi­nance with a num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing UNDP, Arc Finance, E+Co, and Faulu-​​Kenya, Kirubi is also a Lec­turer at the Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ences Depart­ment, Keny­atta Uni­ver­sity, Nairobi,where he teaches courses on energy, tech­nol­ogy, and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. His main inter­ests in the project are the link­ages between rural access to elec­tric­ity and income gen­er­at­ing activ­i­ties, includ­ing small and medium size enterprises.

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University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3050
Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085


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