After winning a scholarship to study renewable energy at the University of California, Davis, Dysmus Kisilu has been working on an answer for the lack of cold storages in areas in Kenya that were of the grid. He designed cold storage units for off-grid rural areas, that run on solar power.
His Solar Freeze technology lets farmers pay a small daily fee to put their crops into cold storage until prices rise, boosting their incomes and cutting food waste, an important contributor to global warming. Kisilu’s climate-smart cooling technology also has been swiftly adopted to solve a new problem: keeping COVID-19 vaccines and other medicines chilled in remote areas beyond the power grid.
“It’s good to see how fast the people on the ground are willing to accept this technology once they try it,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the COP26 U.N. climate talks in Glasgow. The young Kenyan is one of the winners of this year’s Ashden Awards, which promote low-carbon innovations in sustainable energy and development.