If you follow our work at all you know that there is not shortage of solutions to rural electrification in Africa. This is another illustration of how NGO’s are currently leading the effort for off-grid solutions, but market solutions are not far behind. For every Barefoot College, there is a Barefoot Power (or EGG-energy). Investment should continue to grow in the area. The problem is big enough for a lot of players and large state-level solutions are just not going to happen, as a Kenyan Minister of Energy is quoted saying “National power grid connections require huge capital investments with the scattered nature of rural settlements that require off grid stations making this unattainable in the near future.”
This one slipped by us last week, but it’s worth highlighting now. It is amazing that even in an emerging market with tremendous poverty, like India, handset providers are starting to compete on more than price. A handset with a built in mosquito repellant! Now that is genius.
It might sound like a disparaging joke (i.e. “ever heard of the [name your oft derided group] invention? A solar light bulb!”) but in the end it might just be brilliant. Solar lamps have become vogue (we reported of the recent $5 million investment in solar lamp maker d.light design) but this might be a more practical solution. The fixtures are standard. In areas with limited electricity it is especially a boon as they are likely already wired for electricity.
Ontarios is probably taking a step in the right direction, even if this is horribly unpopular and imperfect. A few weeks back we blogged about the importance of Full Cost Accounting, or companies incorporating all the costs of production into the products. Until the IRS or WTO require the practice, it will be up to Cities to make sure companies incorporate the cost of their products full life-cycles.