13 Feb '12, 4pm

How 1.6 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day afford renewables

If you’re not already connected to an electricity grid, renewable energy is a no-brainer, argues Michigan professor of history and “scholar of the Muslim world” Juan Cole . For the one-third of the world’s population that lives on less than a dollar a day , fossil fuels aren’t just environmentally unsustainable — they’re financially unsustainable too. For example: As cell phones have become ubiquitous throughout Africa and the developing world, the electricity to charge them has not. Currently, villagers have to pay private, for-profit charging stands to top up their cell phones. It makes a lot more sense to get your hands on a solar panel to do it instead . Because much of the developing world doesn’t contend with the sunk cost of an existing power grid, it’s possible these villagers and city dwellers could leapfrog the developed world by going straight to all-renewable s...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/how-1-6-billion-people-who-live-on-...

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