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Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) Partners with Ayllu to Create an Online Map of Off-Grid Solutions for Energy

Saturday, May. 21, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 21, 2011 -- The Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) at Santa Clara University has partnered with social-enterprise information company Ayllu to create a new Energy Map website. The site provides detailed graphs and analyses of 40 social enterprises in 16 countries that are overcoming vast hurdles in their respective markets to bring electricity or alternative fuel to 500 to 500,000 people apiece.

Visitors to the Energy Map ( can get an overview of the types of distribution systems, business models, technologies and product designs being employed, as well as detailed financial and business model profiles of the companies currently succeeding in bringing electricity and clean fuel to these communities around the world.

An estimated 1.4 billion people live in areas of the world so remote that no major electricity grid projects are expected to come their way for years. Three billion must cook with polluting, unhealthy stoves or over open fires.   

“Every country presents unique challenges, resources and cultural issues for those seeking to bring energy into remote regions,” said Jim Koch, director of CSTS’s Global Social Benefit Incubator. “This site provides knowledge about how social enterprises are overcoming these problems, how they are getting funding and finding resources – in short, how they’re succeeding.”

Each of the energy companies on the Map has a proven solution, and has either won a Tech Award from the Silicon Valley-based Tech Museum or has gone through SCU’s competitive eight-month-long Global Social Benefit Incubator, a capacity- and skill-building program offered by CSTS for the past nine years. 

The 40 enterprises included in the map serve several million customers, and are a strong representative sample of what’s working in the world today: a company in India that’s turning discarded rice husks into affordable electricity for villagers; a Nicaraguan company that trains workers to build and maintain hybrid energy plants; a Nigerian company that turns cow slaughterhouse waste into electricity.

A May 23event at 5 p.m. at Santa Clara University’s Lucas Hall, Forbes Family Conference Center, will feature an unveiling of the map as well as commentary on the various solutions and business models that are emerging as solutions around the world. The public is invited to attend or to find out more by contacting Erin Berkenmeier at 408-551-6048 or Media interested in attending may contact Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Relations, at 408-554-5121 or

The Energy Map is useful for:
* Foundations and impact investors looking for a snapshot of the most promising solutions to energy deprivation in developing countries.
* Social entrepreneurs struggling to solve unique problems in their home countries.
* Government agencies trying to maximize impact of aid in addressing critical needs while driving economic development.
* U.S. and global students studying social entrepreneurship or alternative energy production.

About Ayllu
Ayllu is an information hub that social enterprises, their funders, and supporters can use to make faster, cheaper, and easier decisions. It collects and shares trends, insights, and lessons learned. Ayllu’s goal is to spread solutions that work, and lower the cost of reaching the poor. More information can be found at

About the Center for Science, Technology, and Society
The mission of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) is to promote the use of science and technology to benefit underserved communities worldwide, primarily by working with socially-minded entrepreneurs.  The CSTS implements its mission through its signature program, the Global Social Benefit Incubator, the Frugal Innovation Lab and its numerous educational and public engagement activities.  More information can be found at

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contacts:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Assistant Media Relations Director | 408-554-5121 |



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