Published on December 11th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer3
Once-in-a Millennium Chance to Make a Clean Powered Future
Not all 6 billion of us use fossil fuels. The last one or two billion, in energy poverty; don’t yet have any electricity at all. This starting point of zero now presents humanity with a very rare opportunity for a do-over.
Most of the rise in CO2 in the next century will actually come, not from us in the developed world, but from those in developing nations being added to the grid. If fossil fuels get to these new electricity users before renewable energy does, it would be a shame. But, by not even starting down the wrong fossil-fueled road that Western civilization first traveled – the developing world could make a real contribution to climate change. By not making the same mistake, we all have a once in a millennium opportunity to begin a better way to power human civilization.
That’s where SELF, or the Solar Electric Light Fund comes in. The tiny NGO has worked on decentralized rural electrification for over 18 years; ending energy poverty one village at a time, by bringing clean solar power to the quarter of the world that has no electricity.
Just one example is this Bunin project, where SELF launched a pilot program three years ago. They installed an innovative solar-powered drip irrigation system to replace an expensive and dirty diesel generator that had been used to pump water. Once you factor in the lack of diesel fuel costs; the 2 kilowatt solar electricity system they have set up is much cheaper; with a payback within two years.
Now, while the sun beats down for free, all year round; pumping the water for the drip irrigation, the farmers are not just able to grow in the dry season, but can also produce extra fruits and vegetables to sell for cash in nearby markets.
Helping a SELF project would make a great Christmas gift. Not just for your family and friends now, but also for our whole human family of the future. Potentially; that could be billions of us.