The 2014 Bi-annual Report of the Green Power for Mobile program has this startling information:
**** Future mobile subscriber growth will be concentrated in developing countries of Africa and Asia, among populations who are currently ‘unconnected’ to mobile phone networks. These populations, which are estimated to grow to approximately 2 billion people by 2020, overwhelmingly inhabit rural areas where access to electricity is patchy and unreliable at best: 30-40% of rural populations in developing countries lack access to grid-based electricity. This represents almost 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone and another 600-625 million in Asia (about 300-350 million of whom are in India). Therefore, over the next six years, as mobile network operators (MNOs) and tower companies (TowerCos) stretch networks into ever more remote locations to achieve universal coverage, the existing base of off-grid and bad-grid telecom towers is expected to grow substantially at about 16% annually.***
So 2 billion people will be looking for power to charge their phones in 2020. This is USB power, 5V standard. This is why Hydrobee will succeed: 2 Billion People Need a Hydrobee!
FireBee, a student team at the University of Washington mentored by the Hydrobee founders, won both the $15,000 Grand Prize and the $5,000 Clean Energy Prize on April 2 in the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. FireBee has developed an alternative energy source for people who live off the grid. The portable thermoelectric generator turns third-world cooking fires into personal power stations for charging small electronics and other low-power uses.
The Firebee team developed and built a new design to convert heat from an African cookstove into USB power. The “Obamastove” was created by Yusuf Tura in Ethiopia. His company, Green Energy Without Borders, has sold over 250,000 stoves. Ethiopia has over 90 million people, almost all of whom cook with charcoal or wood fires. Yusuf Tura has placed a contingent purchase order with the Firebee team for 200 Firebee chargers he will test with his customers.
The Firebee team won the Clean Energy prize of $5000, and the Grand Prize of $15,000, beating 21 other student teams from 7 universities. The Grand Prize winner was selected by vote of 168 judges who are leaders in the Seattle cleantech and venture community.
Download the Press Release Hydrobee PR – Wins Enviro Innovation Challenge