Solar Reports Reveals Real-Life Situations

In August 1961 United Nations’ General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld called solar energy the biggest hope for poverty alleviation in the developing world. But it took another 49 years for the case to be made in a real-life situation: during the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Solar lights helped thousands of individuals during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and changed how the industry understood the developing world’s real needs. Photo courtesy of Agencia Brasil, under Creative Commons licence.

This has led to a real-life effort by researchers to analyze and explain why switching from traditional fuels like kerosene to solar-powered lights is the best way forward. Evan Mills of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has just released a study with his Lumina Project that corroborates the socio-economic rationale.

He was surprised that such a large body of research has never been cited by the off-grid lighting community. “Another part of the impetus for this report was my frustration in repeatedly encountering simplistic, incomplete and sometimes downright wrong (but well-intended) health claims by promoters of alternatives to fuel-based lighting.”

For the full story about Mills’ report and its implication, see

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