Electricity is the foundation for a productive economic and healthy life, yet 1.2 billion people around the world lack access to electricity. Many of these people living in “energy poverty” reside in remote locations, far from the energy grid that relies on polluting, nonrenewable sources of energy like coal, petroleum, and natural gas. For example, almost half of the world cooks with biomass (wood, dung or coal). Improved cook stoves burn biomass more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and indoor air pollution by 90%. This reduces respiratory illness and pollution-related diseases, and saves significant time on firewood collection. Green Empowerment is working with local partners to connect individuals to a variety of renewable energy sources. This clean energy drives economic development by powering small-scale industries and agricultural processing, resulting in increased income.
In remote communities, a resource as small as a stream can provide high-quality electricity 24 hours per day to a whole community by diverting a small portion of the water to a turbine located downstream. The electricity is then distributed to the community through electrical transmission lines.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Thanks to rapid price reductions, solar energy is now being utilized in everything from schools to health clinics to homes, displacing dangerous and more costly alternatives such as kerosene and diesel. Solar micro-grids provide electricity to whole communities that can be used for lighting, cellphone charging, and micro-enterprise development.
In rural mountain communities, small-scale wind power can be a viable part of energy infrastructure. In Peru, Solucionnes Practicas (Practical Action – Peru) manufactures wind turbines that power individual homes. We also deliver training on the proper use and sizing of wind turbines, most recently in Nepal.
Another cooking fuel comes from biogas digesters (or biodigesters). When used with small-scale livestock husbandry (as few as four pigs or one cow), they offer a range of direct benefits, such as the production of cooking gas as well as organic, nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Improved Cook Stoves
More information coming soon!