In east Africa, where access to reliable electricity is a rare luxury, small-scale renewable power is playing a transformative role in people's lives. In the New York Times, Elizabeth Rosenthal reveals the story of a rural Kenyan family whose whose small rooftop solar panel delivers enough power to charge their new cell phone and run four bright lights. The solar panel cost the family $80.
The spread of small-scale renewable power isn't limited to Africa. Thanks to the advent of cheap solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights, the trend is accelerating throughout the developing world. “You’re seeing herders in Inner Mongolia with solar cells on top of their yurts,” said Dana Younger, renewable energy advisor at the World Bank.
Photos: Ed Ou/The New York Times