In recent years East Africa has emerged as a hotbed of creative solutions to meeting people's energy needs as I saw for myself during my visit to Kenya and Tanzania earlier this year. The nexus between clean energy and mobile-based technology is one that is helping bring power to some of the remotest corners of the continent.
There have been seven different types of fridge, four types of washing machine, seven types of hairdryer, 25 lighting products and 72 different chargers and adaptors - and these are just some of the 228 electrical products that have been recalled by manufacturers in the past four years, with faults that include a risk of fire or electric shock.
When I was a student engineer I wanted to build my own road car. I planned out how much it would cost, where I would buy parts, what would I use as a donor vehicle, how would I manufacture the bodywork and most importantly: what engine would I use? I didn't want to make just another kit car, it had to be scalable, and with my own engine.
The UK's Transmission System Operator, responsible for distributing and generating electricity, recently announced that biogas, a renewable energy, could be responsible for 10% of the nation's gas output by the year 2020. If targets are met, the National Grid hopes to have 45 new biogas power stations connected to the grid within the next two years.
Energy is a topic that's seldom out of the headlines. Whether it is rising prices, uncertainty over the sourcing of fossil fuels, discussions about onshore wind turbines, plans to change the structure for solar subsidies or the likelihood of power cuts, hardly a day goes by when energy is not the focus of at least one major news story.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's laughably naïve announcement that, if elected, he would freeze energy prices for twenty months from the date of his election makes you wonder if these seat-of-the-pants, counter-punch 'policies' have been properly considered or professionally researched and analysed.
Some blame the 'greedy profiteering energy fat cats'. Some have even blamed consumers for not helping themselves when it comes to cutting back on their energy use or finding the best energy deals that are out there. The truth of course is that no one group is right. The real truth is our energy market is fundamentally failing.