Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative

February 28th, 2014

Practical Answers is looking to build up its partnerships with a focus sharing knowledge on energy development.  We want to establish an information service focused on small-scale energy delivered built on organisational collaboration.

Its objective is to bring together like-minded organisations working in energy for development with an emphasis on knowledge sharing for practical implementation of small-scale technologies for energy delivery. It is different to some existing networks in that it does not focus on policy and that its focus is on developing countries rather than more industrialised countries.

The advantage of bringing organisations together in respect the knowledge means that a better service can be provided for those in search of information to help implement energy delivery and that leaning can be shared between organisations.

The Perspective from Practical Answers18110

Practical Answers is in the process of changing its structure, developing more services on the ground where it can have a real impact on those in poverty but it is also important to retain the global perspective. This global perspective allows Practical Action and other organisations to learn from each other and for that learning to take place across geographical boundaries.  Practical Answers sees this as developing, as the petals of a flower, individual technological sectors, which most organisations will find familiar such as Water, Health, Agriculture and Energy to name a few.  Each petal will group together those organisations that are interested and active in that particular sector. For Practical Action that would be a number of sectors.

For example; WASH Knowledge Point is a collaboration between WaterAid, IRC, REDR, EngineerAid and Practical Action which aims to pool the expertise of all the organisations in order to bring better information to enquiries and provide a better question and answer service in the area of WASH and humanitarian response.

Practical Action is now interested in developing a similar collaboration in the energy sector and wants to hear from any organisation that is active in sharing technical know-how and managing requests for information from others who may need guidance.

Objectives / What will it do?

  • Combined question and answer capabilities of organisations bringing together a pool of expertise that would not be possible form one orgainsation on its own
  • Introduce mechanisms for information exchange between organisations of existing knowledge materials and resources to make it more accessible (Open Data)
  • Enable organsiations to work together to develop new knowledge materials that are of a very high standard through cross working. (peer production)
  • coordinate efforts in promoting the issue of energy delivery for development
  • leverage funding opportunities for energy projects

In 2014 Practical Action will hold a meeting of organisations (possible a virtual meeting or a series of meetings depending on the geographical and logistical considerations) which will bring the organisations together to work out what the potential for collaboration is.

Contact me if you are interested and have something to offer.

7 responses to “Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative”

  1. Barry Kungu Says:

    We like to be part of this sharing as we are setting up an appropriate training centre for the community in the Kisumu area in western Kenya

  2. Neil Philip Noble Says:

    Dear Barry
    Maybe some of the resources we have at Practical Action can be used in your training centre. We would be happy to provide what we can from the Practical Action resources. If you can let me know the details of the training courses you are planning, hopefully we can match that to appropriate resources.

    I should also say that we have offices in Kenya so there may be another channel for you to get useful information.

    Can you send your details to me or to with postal address.

  3. Ash Says:

    I’d like to be part of this as we are trying to set up an investment fund and are researching the opportunities for investing in. Renewable energy seems like a ripe opportunity for reducing energy poverty, increasing manufacturing via light engineering businesses.

  4. Neil Philip Noble Says:

    Dear Ash
    It’s great to hear from you and encouraging to know that an investment fund is interested in renewable energy. There is great potential for renewable energy in developed and developing countries. Obviously, our focus is on developing countries and areas where there is no grid connection available. We are also interested in the end uses of renewable energy such as micro-hydro and these renewable energy sources can be used to generate income.

    You can contact me directly at or for further discussions.

    Best wishes,

  5. Thomas Kwaku Manu Says:

    This initiative is encouraging and well come information that will enhance the development of solar technology which most of the players in this field desire to have it. I wish resources contain in this initiative will be accessible to the players for developing their investments. Solar Home System Investment (SHSI) is a project initiated to help bring light to the rural poor homes and provide economic activity for the rural communities in the Berekum farming communities which is on going and needs support.

  6. Neil Philip Noble Says:

    Dear Thomas,
    Thank you for your message.

    As this stage the initiative has a focus on sharing knowledge and experience and making that knowledge accessible to as many people as possible, especially those who are active in small-scale renewable energy. Your project sounds very interesting and currently developing the end use of renewable energy sources for economic activity is of great interest.

    It would be great to be able to discuss this with you at some stage if possible and we are planning a video conference with all potential participants in May which I will keep you informed about.

    In the meantime you are very welcome to contact me with any further questions and comments on the initiative.

    Best wishes,

  7. craig bergland Says:

    In that spirit, I hope to share my knowledge of solar concentrators. Please check out the info on this facebook page…
    Solar thermal, and direct use of PV is an sustainable operation I am convinced. Please be in touch so that we can collaborate.
    Thank you.

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