A exciting new path for addressing energy poverty in Africa

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770 million people, more than one-tenth the world’s population, have no access to electricity. None. This is more than twice the population of the United States living in darkness. About 580 million of those people live in Africa, with another 100 million in India. In the US, tens of thousands of Native Americans live without electricity. This large-scale absence of electricity is mostly due to a lack of grids, but even a grid connection is not always enough to ensure access to electricity. For hundreds of millions more people, electricity is either unaffordable or the service is unreliable. Many areas in India, for instance, electrify their grids for only part of the day. Collectively, these people suffer from what is known as energy poverty. The Big Grid has failed all of them.” (From Chapter 2, “Your Power Is Failing”)

“Affordable local energy solutions in the low-income regions of the world will drive unprecedented economic development, leading to improved education, health, and human rights. This may prove to be local energy’s greatest impact in the world. But this will also be an enormous business opportunity. Electrifying the homes and communities of the 770 million people who are currently off-grid will draw in investors and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Even if each person in these low-income regions of the world uses only a quarter of the electricity used by the average American, a brand-new $300 billion annual market will emerge.” (From Chapter 9, “Unlocking Our Power”)

“Freeing Energy, an inspiring and practical guide for enacting an energy revolution, is a must read for aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone that wants to understand how technologies and innovators are upending systems to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.” 
―Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Acumen

The author, Bill Nussey, takes readers all over the world, from the most advanced microgrid in the US to an Italian manufacturer of next generation solar products.

These travels include East Africa where Nussey introduces readers to the leaders who are shaping the future of electricity in the region.

  • Samir Ibrahim, the visionary CEO of SunCulture, Africa’s first affordable solar-powered irrigation solution.
  • Amar Inamdar, the brilliant CEO of KawiSafi, a Kenya-based venture capital firm and one of the first in the region to focus on off-grid electrification.
  • A leader from Rwanda’s Energy Ministry
  • The CEO of an African electric utility

Most important of all, Freeing Energy, introduces readers to the people whose lives are being changed by electrification from small solar home systems, like Sabine, Sarah, and Francis (photo above).

Freeing Energy includes powerful, authoritative data like the table below:

Figure 6.2 - African countries where 40% or less of the population has electricity.

Freeing Energy has been recognized as Amazon’s #1 New Release across multiple categories!

Kirkus Reviews says Freeing Energy is “A passionate, valuable, and detailed blueprint for remaking the shape of everyday energy production… The author is passionate in advocating for change, but he’s also unfailingly realistic.”

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