Powering Agriculture January 2017 Newsletter

Published: Jan. 24, 2017

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

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Powering Agriculture Publishes Annual Report

Powering Agriculture recently published our Financial Year 2016 Annual Report. It was a busy year for our Innovators and the Initiative.

Program highlights included:

Powering Agriculture Innovators made quite an impact over the year. Their reported results included:

  • 14 clean energy solutions have been developed, with 65 kilowatts of clean energy generation capacity installed.
  • 190 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been reduced as a result of Powering Agriculture field activities.
  • Nearly 7,000 farmers and households have benefited from clean energy solutions funded by Powering Agriculture; 30 percent of those beneficiaries are women.
  • USD $4 million in additional funding was mobilized from public and private investments as a result of Powering Agriculture.

For more information on Innovator activities, see Chapter 3 of the report.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund Launches

In December, the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund was announced, with a focus on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation. The fund is made up members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, with leadership composed of entrepreneurial investors and scientists. The fund is focused on providing seed, angel and Series A investments to early stage companies in order to get the most transformative ideas out of the lab and on the path to commercialization. The fund will make investment decisions based on four criteria: climate impact, potential to attract capital from outside sources, scientific possibility, and filling the gaps for companies that need BEV’s unique attributes, which include patience and flexible investment capabilities.

Agriculture is one of the 5 sectors of focus for the BEV which demonstrates the growing recognition of opportunities in the clean energy/ag nexus. The global energy market is currently sized at $US 6 trillion, with energy demand expected to grow by one-third by 2040. BEV was started to take advantage of this tremendous investment opportunity, while addressing the challenges that come with investing in new energy technologies.

Innovators in the News

The past few months have included some great news for several of our Innovators! Congratulations to all!

In other news:

Oct. 27, 2016

Milk produced by Indian dairy farmers must get to processing centres before it spoils; otherwise, farmers aren't paid. Without reliable refrigeration, this is a challenge. To help, Promethean Power Systems developed a milk chiller that operates on a thermal energy battery. 

Stories from the Field: Innovators In Action

Motivo's HARVEST tractor in India

Motivo Engineering

After some unexpected delays in getting their tractor parts through customs, Motivo Engineering began field testing at a farming village in India in November 2016. This testing has focused on identifying any technical and operator training issues.

People learning about VIA's devices at Demo Day in Vanuatu

Village Infrastructure Angels

Village Infrastructure Angels (VIA) recently held a technology demonstration day in Vanuatu, sharing a range of solar-powered mills with potential customers. The mills are used to process staples crops such as cassava, corn, and rice. The day was a great success, with orders being placed for 230 machines!

Upcoming Events

Open 2017
Related News & Events: 
Apr. 27, 2017

EarthSpark graduation! GIZ hosts partners meeting. Motivo Engineering's progress. Promethean Power in new partnership. iDE, KickStart International, & SunDanzer at VentureWell Open. Futurepump & SunCulture shortlisted for Ashden Awards. 5 Powering Ag Innovators on Companies to Inspire Africa list.

Jan. 25, 2017

Powering Ag's Annual Report. Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund announced. VIA finalist for Fire Awards. Samir Ibrahim on Forbes 30 under 30 list. Futurepump and SunCulture on Ashden Awards long list. Promethean Power in The Better India. Motivo began field testing. Futurepump in FarmBiz Africa.

Oct. 25, 2016

Powering Agriculture ‘Graduates’ First Innovators: Earth Institute at Columbia University, Rebound Technologies; Midterm Evaluations Published; Stories from the Field: ICU, UVG, SunCulture; Promethean Power Systems and Futurepump Reach Production Milestones; Innovators In the News; Upcoming Events.

Jul. 25, 2016

Features: Agriculture Innovation Investment Summit and the PAEGC Partner’s Meeting; Stories From the Field: Promethean in India, iDE in Nepal and Honduras, and UGARF in Uganda; Congratulations: SunCulture and SimGas; Innovator Webinars: VIA and Promethean; and Upcoming Events.