January 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Solar Energy: Alternate Energy: The Standard: Kenya RPCV Mark Hankins is the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kenya: Peace Corps Kenya : The Peace Corps in Kenya: January 9, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Solar Energy: Alternate Energy: The Standard: Kenya RPCV Mark Hankins is the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-13-244.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 12:33 pm: Edit Post

Kenya RPCV Mark Hankins is the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa

Kenya RPCV Mark Hankins is the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa

Kenya RPCV Mark Hankins is the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa

Firm fires up the use of solar energy

ESDA promotes sustainable energy by providing technical and management expertise on appropriate options, writes Mukami Githagui

Mr Mark Hankins
A fascination for solar energy forced Mark Hankins to abandon a teaching career to start a company that would help to build a sustainable energy infrastructure.

One of the pioneers behind the alternative energy sector in Kenya, Hankins says his company was built on renewable energy resource assessment, market studies and field surveys, policy study and development, renewable energy financing design and project pipeline development, renewable energy extension and training.

Attached to the US Peace Corps in 1983, Hankins came to Kenya as a science teacher and worked at Karamugi High School in Chuka, Meru. A holder of a Master of Science degree in Alternative Energy Engineering from Reading University in the UK, Hankins is also the author Solar Electric Systems for Africa, a book published in 1992 when he set up his company, Energy Alternatives for Africa.

In 1998, Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD), one of Europe’s leading sustainable energy companies, partnered with Hankins to form what has now come to be known as Energy for Sustainable Development Africa (ESDA).

Hankins has gained a wealth of experience through working with the Ministry of Energy in Kenya on a number of projects. He has also worked in the UK as a consultant besides conducting regional training for basic photovoltaic installation in Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

He says he was also part of a team that designed the Ethiopian Rural Electricity Fund, which manages private sector-led rural electrification programmes throughout the country.

"When I started my own company, I only had two people and I used to do a lot of community-based projects," he says. "Most of my clients were small non-governmental organisations but now I have employed 10 people and my clientele has continued to grow over the years."


Q: What role does ESDA play in the energy sector?

A: It helps to build local sustainable energy by providing technical, policy, training and management expertise in Eastern, Southern and the Horn of Africa. We work in partnership with clients ranging from local communities and industries to international organisations and help them in selecting appropriate energy options.

Q: What scope of work do you handle?

A: ESDA has vast experience including project design, technical assistance and management using energy system design and planning, solar photovoltaic (PV), wood and non-wood biomass production and conversion technologies. We also help in promoting efficiency and conservation methodologies, provide off-grid power supply, solar thermal and wind energy.

Q: What is your marketing strategy?

A: We mainly work with small and medium-sized rural enterprises where we act as a catalyst for the commercialisation of sustainable energy. Our main focus remains sustainable, commercially viable renewable energy technologies.

Q: What services do you offer?

A: Clean development mechanism, renewable energy demonstrations, small business support, and financing of businesses and end-users. We also do energy auditing and planning, off-grid energy systems design and installation, which includes designing and installing appropriate sustainable energy systems for applications ranging from hospitals to eco-tourism to remote households.

We also undertake renewable energy training, product design and test marketing and improving biomass production and conversion.

Q: Have you noticed any change in the industry over the years?

A: Initially, there were various small companies trying to tap into the solar market, but now bigger companies have taken over resulting in fewer players such as Kenital, Chloride Exide, among others. The awareness among people is at a higher level, there is more professionalism, the prices are much more competitive, companies also tend to specialise more — either on exports or consumer products.

About 200,000 households are using solar products and one million use lead batteries in rural areas.

Q: Are there other types of renewable energy?

A: Yes, and they include wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. It’s not just about solar energy any more; globally, use of different types of renewable energy is big business.

Q: Is the government supportive of renewable energy?

A: It has greatly reduced duty on solar products but in terms of projects, the government has done little in comparison to Uganda and Tanzania.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 8 2005 No: 367 January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Zambia RPCV Karla Berg interviews 1,374 people on Peace 7 Jan
Breaking Taboo, Mandela Says Son Died of AIDS 6 Jan
Dreadlocked PCV raises eyebrows in Africa 6 Jan
RPCV Jose Ravano directs CARE's efforts in Sri Lanka 6 Jan
Persuading Retiring Baby Boomers to Volunteer 6 Jan
Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
RPCV Carmen Bailey recounts bout with cerebral malaria 28 Dec
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RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
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RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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Story Source: The Standard

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kenya; Solar Energy; Alternate Energy



By chris kirika (ac8bc72c.ipt.aol.com - on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 4:23 am: Edit Post

I am an international senior student (Kenya) at ‘Savannah College of Art & Design’ US, majoring in ‘Industrial/product design’. While doing research I came across your very interesting link. I would love to hear more about your company. Reminds me of one of my project where we had to explore better ways to conserve energy by designing any kind of product operated by solar power..

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