GREEN ENERGY COULD BOOST DEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
A recent Green Alliance report suggests that renewable energy may be the key to development in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the study, the lack of existing energy infrastructure is an impediment to economic growth in a region with 41% of the world’s energy-poor people and where 65% of primary schools and 30% of health centers have no access to electricity. Rather than expanding the existing, inefficient central grid systems, the report suggested that investing in decentralized, low carbon energy would be a more effective way to work towards the UN goal of universal energy access by 2030. According to head of advocacy at Christian Aid Laura Taylor, low-carbon, off-grid energy would address the Sub-Saharan energy crisis much more quickly and cheaply than high-carbon options, and could go a long way toward alleviating poverty. In Kenya, off-grid solar photovoltaic power has already provided 2.5 million households with access to energy, giving children more time to study with solar lights and allowing families to save 12.6% of their income by switching from kerosene lamps to solar. For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/apr/30/solar-power-green-energy-african-development.