In 2010, some 2.8 billion people relied on traditional fuels such as wood, charcoal and animal and crop waste to cook and heat their homes; three-quarters of them lived in just 20 countries in Asia and Africa; 1.2 billion, or 17% of the world’s population still have no electricity. Achieving universal access to modern energy (electricity and clean and modern cooking) is one of three objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, alongside greater energy efficiency and increased use of renewables. The initiative is led by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Its first report, released on May 28th, compiled global data from 15 agencies. The IEA reckons that nearly $50 billion a year will be needed to achieve the first goal (universal electricity and clean cooking) by 2030.
My Proposal – solar power for LED and clean cooking and give the carbon credit offset in unused kerosene to donating country or company
Although small scale solar power and LED lighting could provide basic electrification for $100 billion for all of the 1.6 billion people.
Clean cooking for another $50 billion for all of those that need it.
People are currently burning wood and kerosene.
Provide the offset in carbon credits to those who donate the solar panels, LED lighting and clean cooking equipment.
Universal electricity, lighting and clean cooking who be a huge boost to the extremely poor.
They would have better health from less pollution exposure.
They would not need to spend time looking for and gathering wood or actual crap to burn.
They would be able to study at night.
They would have power for low cost smartphones and tablets.
Instead of paying 10-30% of income for kerosene even the extremely poor could buy a $20 tablet.
They could start climbing out of poverty by being connected and having some basics.
In some areas of Africa, people spend from 10 to 30 percent of their income on refilling kerosene lamps, which are little more than tin cans with an open flame. Burning them releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide per year and contributes to climate change. And igniting them in a closed home can equate to smoking a couple of packs a cigarettes a day. Smoke from burning kerosene irritates the eyes, so students extinguish them instead of doing homework.
Some nonprofits, such the Light Up the World Foundation, pair solar panels with LEDs. The organization Solar Sister provides women in Africa with training, marketing, and an inventory of solar-powered light bulbs. M-Kopa in Kenya provides a financing scheme along with the requisite technology; the organization sells an entire home system with solar panels, lights, and a cellphone charger, for about $200. Customers pay as little as about 45 cents a day and can pay off the debt in a year.
South Asia and Subsaharan Africa are the main places with gaps in electrification. Clean cooking is not available there either but also has a large gap in East Asia
China recorded the largest energy savings and greatest expansion in renewable energy globally. India has electrified an annual average of 24 million people and provided 20 million a year with access to modern cooking and heating fuels since 1990. The experience of these fast-moving countries offers lessons for the high-impact countries in tackling the goals. China and India are in both categories.
The Worldbank plan – Countries, international organizations, private sector and civil society need to more than double existing energy investments of $409 billion. They need to add at least $600 billion more every year until 2030. The additional $600 billion would include $45 billion for electricity expansion, $4.4 billion on modern cooking, $394 billion in energy efficiency, and $174 billion on renewable energy.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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