A few weeks ago, The Lemelson Foundation executive director Julia Novy-Hildesley attended the annual Clinton Global Initiative, presenting a report on the Foundation's 2007 commitment as well as participating on a panel about energy and climate changes. She also served as a facilitator of an innovation break-out session.
For the update on The Lemelson Foundation's 2007 commitment to CGI, Novy-Hildesley described the Foundation's $2.3 million in new grants and loans in testing for non-profit and for profit renewable energy distribution models that deliver services for those living on less than $2 a day. This consisted of a portfolio of projects that the Foundation funded not only to achieve impact for those living in poverty, but also to use the commitment itself as a portfolio approach for learning about models for how to reach the most marginalized in our world with clean energy services and technologies.
Projects involved in this portfolio are:
- Envirofit - Equipping 3,000 motorcycle taxis in the Philippines with direct injection retrofits through micro-finance and local incentives, with the hope of developing a self-sustaining enterprise to further scale the technology throughout the Philippines and Asia as well as eliminate 3,000 tons of CO2 and 360,000 gallons of fuel annually.
- Instituto para o Desenvolvimento de Energias Alternativas e da Auto Sustenabilidade (IDEAAS) - Equip 130 households in Brazil's lower Amazon basing with solar energy systems through a leasing distribution model. Project aims to improve living conditions, provide income generating opportunities and prove out a model that might scale to reach 3,000 families in the region.
- E&Co - Develop a network of rural solar photovoltaic (PV) retailers in Tanzania to launch new solar retail businesses, deploying 7,000 high quality household PV systems. The project hopes to create over a 100 new jobs and lead to affordable, sustainable energy for rural poor while creating a solar servicing and distribution infrastructure.
- SELCO India (Solar Electric Light Company India) - Create 25 new service centers (double the current number) that will provide solar lighting services to 135,000 new households (a threefold increase over current number) while creating four new income-generating solar products.
- BioEnergy – Establish 12 stirling engine village power systems run by village entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. The systems convert cow manure to biogas to electricity and use waste heat to warm water for community laundry, fruit drying or other needed services. Results from this project will be used to scale up to 500 systems by 2010.