General Electric and National Instruments Work on USAID Microgrid and Solar Projects

Sept. 20, 2016
General Electric and National Instruments are working on USAID microgrid and solar projects in Africa and India as part of a larger $10 million research initiative on a range of topics where gaps in scientiific knowledge exist.

General Electric (GE) and National Instruments (NI) are working on USAID microgrid and solar projects in Africa and India as part of a larger $10 million research initiative on a range of topics where gaps in scientiific knowledge exist.

The microgrid and solar projects are among 49 research initiatives through U.S. Aid’s Global Development Lab. Others focus on such issues as disaster preparedness, food security, maternal health and climate change in villages.

The energy projects include $220,000 on integrating solar energy microgrids and smart buildings in Morocco. NI said it will provide $150,000 in cash and other contributions over the next three years for the project, as part of NI’s on-going five-year partnership with USAID.

Separately, GE is participating in a $128,000 project to improve standards in India’s solar panel industry.

The projects are funded through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program.

The next call for PEER proposals will open in October 2016.

“Collaboration is key for accelerating the impact of scientific research on development,” said Ann Mei Chang, USAID’s chief innovation officer and executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab. “Through programs like PEER, we help strengthen the global scientific research community by providing opportunities for the best scientific minds to collaborate on crucial development issues.”

PEER provides opportunities for scientists in developing countries to conduct research with their U.S.-funded counterparts, and leverage nearly $90 million in existing research awards.

Since its launch in 2011, PEER has supported more than 200 researchers in over 45 countries, with a total investment of more than $50 million. The latest awards represent the fifth year of the PEER program. The 49 final projects were selected from over 650 proposals.

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Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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