Headline July 27, 2015/ ''' POWER TO THE STUDENTS '''


AROUND 1.8 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world's population, have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable and intermittent supply.

Of the people without electricity   85% live  in rural areas on the fringes of cities. Extending energy grids into these areas is expensive.

The United Nation estimates that an average of  $35 billion-$40 billion  a year needs to be invested until  2030  so everyone on the planet can cook, heat and light their premises, and have energy for productive uses such as schooling.

On current trends, however, the number of  ''energy poor''  people will barely budge, and over  16%   of the world's population will still have no electricity by 2030, according to the  International Energy Agency.

But why wait for top-down solutions? 

Providing energy in a bottom-up way instead has a lot to recommend it. There is no need to wait for politicians or utilities to act. The technology in question, from solar panels to low-energy light emitting diodes  OLEDs, is rapidly falling in price.

Local, bottom-up systems may be more sustainable and produce fewer carbon emissions than centralised schemes.

In the Rich world, in fact, the trend is towards a more flexible system of distributed, sustainable power sources. The developing world has an opportunity to leapfrog the centralised model, just as it leapfrogged fixed-line telecoms and went straight to mobile phones.

But just the spread of mobile phones was helped along by new business models, such as  pre-paid  airtime cards and village  ''telephone ladies'' , new approaches are now needed.

''We need to reinvent how energy is delivered,'' says Simon Desjardins, who manages a programme at the  Shell Foundation, that invests in  for-profit ways to deliver energy to the poor.

''Companies need to come up the innovative business models and technology.'' Fortunately, lots of people are doing just that.

Start with lighting, which prompted the establishment of the first electrical utilities in the rich world. At the  ''Lighting Africa''  conference of some years ago, at Nairobi, a  World Bank project to encourage  private-sector  solutions for the poor, 50 lighting firms displayed their wares,-

Up from just a handful of a year ago. This illustrates both the growing interest in  bottom-up  solutions and falling prices. Prices of solar cells have also fallen, so that the cost per kilowatt is half of what it was a decade ago.

Solar cells can be used to power  low-energy LEDs, which are both energy efficient and cheap: the cost of a set of LEDs to light a home has fallen by half in the past decade, and is now below $25.

This could eliminate Kerosene lighting in the next ten years, the way cellphones took off in about 13 years,''  says Richenda Van Leeuwen of the Energy Access Initiative at the UN Foundation in Washington, DC.

That would have a number of benefits: families in the developing world may spend as much as  30%   of their income on kerosene, and kerosene lighting causes indoor air pollution and fires.

But such systems are still beyond the reach of the very poorest. ''There are hundreds of millions who can afford clean energy, but there is still a barrier for the billions who cannot.'' says Sam Goldman, the CEO of D.light.

His firm has developed a a range of solar-powered systems that can provide up to 12 hours of light after charging in sunlight for one day. D.light's most basic solar lantern costs $10.

But the price would have to fall below $5 to make it universally affordable, according to a study by the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank. So there is scope for further improvement.

It is just not new technology that is needed, but new models. Much of the ferment in  bottom-up energy entrepreneurialism is focusing on South Asia, where-

570 million people in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,  mostly in rural areas have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.

One idea is to use locally available biomass as a feedback to generate power for a village-level  ''micro-grid''. Husk Power Systems, an Indian firm, uses second-world war-era diesel generators fitted-

With biomass gasifiers that can use rice husks, which are otherwise left to rot, as a feedstock. Wires are strung on cheap,  easy-to-repair bamboo poles to provide power to around 600 families for each generator. 

The Honour and Serving of the  '' Operational and Research '' continues. Thank you for reading and don't miss the following one.

With respectful dedication to all the leaders and all the countries of the world suffering from Power shortages. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Let There Be Light '''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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