Mar 1, 2017

How solar power is helping combat malnutrition in India

India
Nell Walker
1 min
Science for Society – otherwise known as S4S Technology – is helping to tackle the issue of malnutri...

Science for Society – otherwise known as S4S Technology – is helping to tackle the issue of malnutrition among female farmers and rural women in India by providing solar-powered dehydration units.

The Mumbai-based start-up has given 230 rural women in small villages access to these units, which dehydrate food, such as vegetables and fruit. The foods retain nutrients and is put in water when ready to eat so that it regains its original properties. According to Hindustan Times, 25-30 percent of the 250 million tons of fruit and vegetables produced in India each year are otherwise wasted.

With malnutrition such a huge issue in Indian villages, these solar-powered dehydrators are a welcome relief. The women they have been offered to were trained to use them, dehydrating mango, papaya, spinach, fenugreek, onions, ginger and more in order to ensure that people have access to nutritional foods during the ‘lean season’ (between January and June when there is far less fresh food available).

Once dehydrated, the food can be preserved for at least six months. The women are also encouraged to sell any excess dried food, removing waste entirely from the equation. These particular dehydration units cost between three and five times less than other solar dryers.

 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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