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We got a great climate deal at COP21–now what?

We should all be rightly happy about the outcome of the COP21 climate accords.  Now comes the hard and exciting work–how do we reach these climate targets? The answers are sobering, and one take away is absolutely clear: solar and wind alone won’t do it. We’ll need carbon negative energy, and on a massive scale.

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APL brought a big team to COP21 to share a simple message: affordable, renewable, carbon negative energy from biomass is here, and ready to help solve the twin challenges of energy access and climate change.

Paris was a fantastic time to discuss climate friendly energy with so many committed players all in one location, such as Andrew Herscowitz (top), the head of the Power Africa program, California’s Senate leader and renewable energy champion Kevin de Leon (bottom), and many more.

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The importance of carbon negative energy bears repeating; as our friend Noah Deich at the UC Berkeley Center for Carbon Removal points out, almost every single scenario to get us to below +2 Celsius warming has to include large scale deployments of carbon removal technology. (Click here to read an early draft of a report he’s creating to explain the options and opportunities.)

Liberia APL Project in Huffington Post TV feature
We’re doing our part by getting to work immediately on a project that combined both energy access and climate change, with our second major project in Liberia. While the negotiations were still underway in Paris, a team of reporters from the Huffington Post was in Liberia filming APL putting those ideas into action.

The remote village of Kwendin, Liberia, had almost no electricity at all. But under a project sponsored by the USAID Power Africa program, three PP2O Power Pallets are being installed to provide power to every home in the community, as well as street lights, small businesses, and more. It’s more than just lighting–it’s energy for productive use that allows putting value adding tools like sewing machines and saws to work, creating jobs and opportunities for people in Kwendin.

Below are some screenshots from the excellent news piece they produced — we encourage you to click and watch. They did a very good job explaining the need for energy access in Africa, and what the solution means for local lives.
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What lies ahead in 2016 for APL
This year we’ll be releasing our beta version of the 15OkW Powertainer, funded under a grant from the state of California to help reduce wildfire risk. We’ll also be releasing new versions and upgrades for our Power Pallets, making them easier to use, more powerful and more reliable.  And we’ll be working to implement the new incentive and funding programs following the COP21 agreement, which will help grow projects for all of us. We’ll be sharing details on those soon.

In rural areas of the US? Quick turn around grants available from USDA
For those of you in rural areas in he US, know there is grant funding available from the USDA for projects in the US to create renewable energy in remote communities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance program provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. It has a short turn around, so give it a quick look.

Thanks for your interest and support of our work, and very best wishes in this New Year.

-All Power Labs

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