Tag Archives: power

“Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power

Thanks to this solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone.

For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.
Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.
Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.

That wearying routine ended in February when the family sold some animals to buy a small Chinese-made solar power system for about $80. Now balanced precariously atop their tin roof, a lone solar panel provides enough electricity to charge the phone and run four bright overhead lights with switches.
“My main motivation was the phone, but this has changed so many other things,” Ms. Ruto said on a recent evening as she relaxed on a bench in the mud-walled shack she shares with her husband and six children.
Continue reading “Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power

“Power the World” Week – Issue #2: The Rape Epidemic or Hard Lessons for US Midwife in Haiti

Nursing and midwifery students crowd around to observe as midwives help a woman deliver a baby. (Photo: Jenny Asarnow)

Erin Curtiss is a midwife in Seattle. She is 34 years old, has sharp blue eyes and a raunchy sense of humor. She lives with her two young sons and her girlfriend.

Erin, who runs her own home birth business, recently learned of an American nonprofit organization called Midwives for Haiti. She found it on Facebook.

She traveled to a little city called Hinche, in Haiti’s Central Plateau. She came to volunteer at the public hospital, where patients are crammed into long rooms with no electricity, and where the windows and doors are open to the air – and the mosquitoes and flies and lizards that come through.
Back home, Erin only deals with uncomplicated pregnancies, but here, women have extremely high blood pressure, anemia, even cholera. These are the sickest patients she has ever seen, and the hospital staff doesn’t seem to have enough time for anyone.
Erin came here mostly to train midwives, but now that she sees how much needs to get done, she wants to do more. So she makes a generous offer. She’ll work the night shift, when there are fewer midwives on staff.
Continue reading “Power the World” Week – Issue #2: The Rape Epidemic or Hard Lessons for US Midwife in Haiti

“Power the World”-Week Issue #1: A Light in India

Students in the village of Tahipur in Bihar used kerosene lanterns for studying.

When we hear the word innovation, we often think of new technologies or silver bullet solutions — like hydrogen fuel cells or a cure for cancer. To be sure, breakthroughs are vital: antibiotics and vaccines, for example, transformed global health. But as we’ve argued in Fixes, some of the greatest advances come from taking old ideas or technologies and making them accessible to millions of people who are underserved.

One area where this is desperately needed is access to electricity. In the age of the iPad, it’s easy to forget that roughly a quarter of the world’s population — about a billion and a half people (pdf) — still lack electricity. This isn’t just an inconvenience; it takes a severe toll on economic life, education and health. It’s estimated that two million people die prematurely each year as a result of pulmonary diseases caused by the indoor burning of fuels for cooking and light. Close to half are children who die of pneumonia.

In vast stretches of the developing world, after the sun sets, everything goes dark. In sub-Saharan Africa, about 70 percent of the population lack electricity. However, no country has more citizens living without power than India, where more than 400 million people, the vast majority of them villagers, have no electricity. The place that remains most in darkness is Bihar, India’s poorest state, which has more than 80 million people, 85 percent of whom live in households with no grid connection. Because Bihar has nowhere near the capacity to meet its current power demands, even those few with connections receive electricity sporadically and often at odd hours, like between 3:00 a.m and 6:00 a.m., when it is of little use.

This is why I’m writing today about a small but fast-growing off-grid electricity company based in Bihar called Husk Power Systems. It has created a system to turn rice husks into electricity that is reliable, eco-friendly and affordable for families that can spend only $2 a month for power. The company has 65 power units that serve a total of 30,000 households and is currently installing new systems at the rate of two to three per week.

Bringing sustainable light to communities off the grid
Continue reading “Power the World”-Week Issue #1: A Light in India

Special “Power the World”-Week to Raise Awareness

When Linkin Park and the UN announced their “Power the World” programme, I was really surprised about how little I know about this issue. That over a billion people have absolutely no access to electricity really shocked me and I’ve read many tweets from other people experiencing the same.
This immediately raised the question what I can do to raise awareness about this issue, and as I have this nice little blog that I can fill with any topic I want (a great experience, I strongly recommend it!), I will post many articles about the problems caused by the lack of electricity etc. during the next week, starting tonight.

It would be really awesome if my readers, YOU!, would join the band waggon and proclaim the upcoming 7 days as “Power the World” week! Help the United Nations, Music for Relief, Linkin Park and especially all the people in the world that have to live without power by retweeting/sharing the articles I post or any other article you find online about the issue. Trend #PowerTheWorld on Twitter! If we work together we could bring “Power the World” to the forefront and make a difference! Empower the planet, power the world!

Power the World – Linkin Park x UN x Sustainable Energy for All: Videos, Pictures, Press

So here’s the announcement Mike Shinoda tweeted about yesterday:

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Whether relating to jobs, security, climate change, food production or income-generating activity, access to sustainable energy is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems, and achieving social equity.

However, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more have only intermittent access. Additionally, some 2.5 billion people– almost half of humanity– rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating.
Linkin Park and Music for Relief have pledged to support the UN Secretary-General to help achieve Sustainable Energy for All through Power the World.

Join us to help bring sustainable energy solutions to 1 million families.
Empower the Planet. Power the World.

Learn more about the year of Sustainable Energy for All here.

-Linkin Park

That’s such a great new relief effort! I didn’t even know that so many people live without power. This is a more detailed press release by “Sustainable Energy for All”:

New York, NY — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the support of the Grammy award winning rock band Linkin Park for his “Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.”

The band will utilize its extensive social media presence, including more than 36 million Facebook fans, and draw on its significant public profile to mobilize support for the Secretary-General’s Initiative and sustainable energy projects worldwide.

Read more…

Linkin Park also visited the UN Headquarters today and met Secretery-General Ban Ki-Moon! Here are the video of the press conference, the UN’s press release and some pictures:

There’s a longer video here. Unfortunately I can’t download or embed it here, so you just gotta click the link.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Grammy award-winning Linkin Park band members at UN Headquarters | Photo: UN

Continue reading Power the World – Linkin Park x UN x Sustainable Energy for All: Videos, Pictures, Press