Jun. 26, 2014—In its inaugural round, more than 475 organizations from 80 countries applied to the Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development initiative, which offered market-based, clean energy innovations for the agricultural sphere in developing countries. Each of the 11 winning organizations received awards of between $800,000 and $1.5 million to support great ideas from around the globe and offer farmers the solutions they need today and tomorrow.
Vijay Modi of The Earth Institute discusses their solution to enable smallholder farmers to use a central solar energy unit to power multiple AC pumps for irrigation. The proposed solution takes advantage of the benefits of solar without the high costs associated with DC-powered pumps and battery storage.