Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

Solar energy options for the Philippines

With the feed-in-tariff rates for renewable energy do not look attractive enough for private sector generators to do this in the Philippines, the world marches on with the various other approaches to use solar energy for those who don’t have it. Read about 3 of them below.

From CleanTechies.Com

Solar Power in Poor Rural Areas

Environmental News NetworkPublished on Date March 9th, 2012 by Environmental News Network


Solar power works best of course where the sun is brightest. However, another major factor is the capital cost for a solar installation. If your are poor, you cannot get started easily. One of the big opportunities positive climate action has presented the developing world is the chance to leapfrog a generation of energy technology straight into clean, green generationwithout the intervening capital intensive and dirtier aspects of energy technology. A British company thinks it has a potential and intriguing solution. Cambridge-based Eight19, named after the eight minutes and 19 seconds it takes light form the sun to reach earth, has developed this technology, and the business plan to tackle these challenges.

Eight19 is developing a novel printed plastic solar cell technology based on organic semiconductor materials.

Organic semiconductors originate from abundant and therefore potentially low cost materials. Their strong light absorption (100 times stronger than silicon), the tunability of the absorption spectrum by chemical synthesis and their deposition from solution under ambient condition resulting in an ultra-thin solar absorber makes them a highly promising materials class for large scale electrical solar power generation. The unique properties of organic semiconductors in contrast to inorganic semiconductors like silicon allow for the development of low cost, highly flexible and low weight solar modules

Customers can pay an up-front fee of $10 for a 3W solar panel, battery, two LED lamps, a phone charging unit and a module that enables them to purchase electricity using their mobile phone.

“In Kenya for example we provide solar power for around $1 a week,” says Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO, Eight19.

“They tell us they are saving about $2 a week on kerosene and a further $1-1.5 on the electricity that they would have to spend on putting electricity into their mobile phones.”

“The plastic solar cells will reduce the overall cost of the installation. If you put solar cells on your roof in the UK probably half the cost is for the framing, wiring, the metalwork and everything else that goes around the solar panels,” claims Bransfield-Garth.

“You can’t put a 30kg solar panel onto the traditional thatched roof of a home in Malawi. With the plastic film, you can just literally stick it onto the roof.”

There are over a 1 billion people without or with minimal electricity in the world according Garth, 300 million or so which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

This part of the world is where Eight19 will concentrate its efforts. Since its first install in Kenya in September, 2011 the company’s IndiGo system is now in Malawi, Zambia and South Sudan as well.

“We thought avoiding Kerosene fumes would be a really big driver for these sorts of things. Kerosene fumes kill 1.5 million people a year, that’s more than malaria. But in reality, if you have been brought up with kerosene fumes for ever, you have a slightly different view on that sort of thing.” Kerosene is a common means of lighting in this area of the world. It is used because of its relative low cost.

In fact, the ability to charge mobile phones, is the biggest advantage to those who use the IndiGo system, their customers have said.

Customers will on average take a couple of years to pay for the full cost of their system in these poor areas of the world.

“We’re running on commercial terms but it’s not our job to go and exploit some of the poorest people in the world. That’s why we have this upgrade initiative. We could charge a $1 a week indefinitely on the basis that that is half what they were paying for kerosene,” says Bransfield-Garth.

At this stage customers can either buy the 3W set-up outright or they can upgrade to a larger 10W system that supports an additional two lights and a radio.

The companies energy plans ends with a 80W system capable of running four lights, radio, TV, sewing machine plus the invaluable phone charging.

For further information: http://www.rtcc.org/energy/flexible-solar-revolution-could-bring-power-to-1-4-billion-people/ or http://www.eight19.com/technology

Article appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.

LuminAID, the Inflatable Solar Light

EnergyRefuge.comPublished on Date January 10th, 2012 by EnergyRefuge.com

People developing solar energylights have all sorts of ideas, and sometimes they are very swell …Take the case of the LuminAID Light. It’s an inflatable nifty number, that fully charges with four to six hours of solarexposure.

The light was designed for disaster zones. Electricity is one of the first vital services affected by catastrophe and current solar power solutions are expensive and difficult to manufacture and transport. The LuminAID solar light addresses these issues by providing a useful and portable form of light for disaster victims.

They replace kerosene lamps, which are toxic and a safety hazard, besides making a dent of up to 30% on the income of those who need it. As solar technology becomes better and more portable, hopefully the stinky kerosene lamp will be a thing of a fossil fuel past.

LuminAID is the brainchild of Anna Stork, an architect whose previous jobs include working for the Department of Defense developing technologies to help soldiers survive in remote locations, and Andrea Sheshta, an architect and former employee at Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects in New York.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

Solar, Not Kerosene, Is What the World Needs

EnergyRefuge.comPublished on Date August 28th, 2012 by EnergyRefuge.com

Like in cartoons, sometimes a brilliant idea appears in the shape of a light bulb. This is because solar lights are some of the most brilliant ideas being developed to make the world a more sustainable place and to promote inclusion for those people living in remote areas.

Around two billion people in the world rely on burning biomass for cooking and power and a great portion of that live in off-grid regions. There’s a great opportunity there to bring alternative energy such as solar to those people, as we have seen in previous articles. And sometimes an idea can be really simple and take the shape of light bulb.

Nokero’s N200 solar powered LED lamp light bulb is one of them. Nokero is a short for no kerosene, in reference to the dirty fuel that so many people rely on. The company was founded in 2010 by American inventor Steve Katsaros. From his base in Denver he works on solar LED design innovation and orchestrates the business development, marketing and public relations of the company. The Hong Kong office deals with manufacturing, shipping and logistics.

Nokero’s provides cheap products (prices range between $10 and $20). Besides lights, it also makes mobile phone chargers and battery chargers. The company also supports Child Fund International, helping children whose education and potential is hampered by lack of electricity.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

PAL biggest purchase

Wow. 54 new Airbus aircraft for PAL. Something tells me they are thinking big. Let’s find an opportunity to help them.

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PAL orders 54 Airbus aircraft worth $7B

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012


MANILA, PhilippinesPhilippine Airlines announced Tuesday it had ordered 54 Airbus aircraft with a list price of $7 billion, and planned to buy dozens more planes in a spectacular move to rejuvenate Asia’s oldest carrier.


“The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in this country,” PAL chairman Lucio Tan said in a statement.


In a separate statement Airbus said the “firm orders” were for 34 single-aisle A321 ceo planes, 10 of the newer-model A321 neo models and 10 long-haul A330-300s, and delivery would start next year.


PAL said the orders had a list price of $7 billion dollars.


PAL president Ramon Ang told reporters at a press conference announcing the deal that the carrier intended to buy 100 new aircraft in total.


“Our intention is to buy up to 100 aircraft, 26 of that will be long range, wide body,” Ang told reporters, adding all the planes would be bought and none leased.


The announcement comes after San Miguel, one of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates, bought a 49-percent stake in the loss-making carrier for $500 million in April, and took over management.


Ang is president of San Miguel although billionaire Tan, an ethnic Chinese tycoon who is the country’s second-wealthiest man, remains PAL’s controlling shareholder.


PAL, which began flying in 1941, reported a net loss of $33.5 million in the three months to December, reversing a profit of $15.1 million from the same period the previous year.


It had said the losses were mainly due to soaring fuel costs, and added that it was looking for fresh money to upgrade its fleet.


However the airline’s reputation had also declined, with passengers complaining of old planes, limited flight options and poor service.


PAL has had to watch its status as the nation’s top carrier slide in recent years, giving up the mantle to low-cost rival Cebu Pacific.


PAL was also forced to cut hundreds of flights in September last year after a day-long wildcat strike by ground crew who were protesting the outsourcing of 2,600 catering, airport services and call center reservation jobs.


It took the airline more than a month to cut the flight backlog, however Tan won the battle against the determined unions to outsource the jobs and cut costs.


PAL’s current fleet is made up of 39 aircraft that fly to 31 foreign cities and destinations. Thirty-one of those are Airbus planes. The other eight are Boeing aircraft.

A novel approach to accessing credit for small business

Here’s one novel approach of how a local government unit is help small business in its community access credit.  Wonder it can happen where I live (Sydney, Australia). Believe me, we need it too.

From BusinessWorld Philippines

August 22, 2012

BSP, Palawan launch credit surety fund

THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Palawan provincial government yesterday launched a facility that will guarantee loans that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) take out from banks.

In a statement, the central bank said that together with the Palawan provincial government, it launched yesterday the Palawan Credit Surety Fund (CSF), the 24th of its kind in the country.

“The Palawan CSF is a surety fund established to help cooperatives and their micro-, small- and medium-enterprise members secure collateral-free loans from banks,” the BSP said.

Ten cooperatives pooled funds for a contribution amounting to P2 million, while the provincial government of Palawan pledged another P2 million for the Palawan CSF.

“The Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund, Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines have also expressed strong support to the CSF Program with their contribution pledges to augment the fund,” the BSP said.

A member MSME of any these 10 cooperatives, which normally will not have access to bank loans, may now apply for a loan at a bank participating in the Palawan CSF program. Once the loan is approved, the sponsoring cooperative will issue a surety cover to secure its member’s loan.

In case of a default, the CSF will pay the bank. The cooperative will collect the unpaid loan and interest from the borrower and remit these to the CSF.

The BSP, for its part, allows banks that extend loans under the CSF program to rediscount their collectibles in order to come up with cash that can be lent to other borrowers.

“Various sectors are expected to benefit from this credit enhancement scheme, which also serves as an alternative lending window for MSMEs,” the central bank said.

“The program also integrates a training component to enhance the skills of participating cooperatives in the areas of business plan preparation, loan evaluation, risk management and accounting system.”

The Credit Surety Fund program is one of the central bank’s efforts to attain “inclusive growth” in the country.

Inclusive growth is a broad-based approach that benefits even the low-income sector.

CSF programs were also launched in Capiz, Bohol, Gen. Santos and Davao this year.

Aside from the credit surety fund program, the BSP has also launched financial literacy campaigns to tackle topics on personal financial management and financial consumer protection. — KAM

Article location : http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Finance&title=BSP, Palawan launch credit surety fund&id=57233

Start you business with SAP

If you have a start-up that needs a hand with your database needs, here’s an opportunity to benefit with the help available from SAP.


SAP Startup Forum launches locally amid $155 million funding pool

By Michelle Hammond
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Local software start-ups are being encouraged to register for Australia’s first-ever SAP Startup Forum, linked to venture capital arm SAP Ventures, which recently announced US$155 million in new funding.


SAP is a German company that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. It is the world’s third largest independent software manufacturer.


SAP Australia has confirmed the company’s global SAP Startup Forum is launching in Australia. The forum will be held in Sydney on Friday, September 21.


Organised by local SAP teams, Startup Forums provide a platform for SAP to meet and engage with entrepreneurs from major innovation hubs around the world.


The forums offer start-ups an opportunity to create easy-to-access solutions using SAP HANA to help solve real-world problems.


SAP HANA, which handles massive volumes of data entirely in its in-memory database, enables applications and analytics to execute their data-intense operations right where data resides.


This helps customers achieve performance improvements of up to 100,000 times compared to traditional databases while running non-disruptively alongside the existing technology landscape.


It’s important to note the SAP Startup Forum works closely with SAP Ventures, the venture capital arm of SAP, which is looking to make its first investments in the Australian market.


The news comes after SAP Ventures announced $155 million in funding to identify and cultivate groundbreaking start-ups who can help solve business problems using SAP HANA.


Dereck Daymond, general manager of SAP’s database and technology group, says he’s looking forward to seeing what comes out of Australian start-ups.


“Australians are great innovators, and launching this initiative enables start-ups to gain access to one of SAP’s most innovative solutions,” Daymond says.


“We are really thrilled that we are able to bring this program to Sydney, and very much look forward to engaging with our local entrepreneurs.”


The Sydney Startup Forum is a stepping stone for entrepreneurs to become part of the wider SAP Startup Forum, which aims to help companies with high growth potential scale their business.
The forum will give start-ups an opportunity to pitch their ideas to executives from SAP and SAP Ventures.


From each Startup Forum, up to 10 start-ups will be invited to join a development accelerator. The objective of the accelerator is to build a proof-of-concept and, eventually, a product with explicit business value.


The event is by invitation-only. Entrepreneurs can register via an online form.



During the registration process, entrepreneurs must provide details about their business, product stage and current “big data” challenges.

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