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Posted Mon Jun 14 2010: from
Low-cost solar solution could empower off-grid poor
A low-cost, plastic solar lamp could provide affordable lighting for millions living in rural off-grid areas across Africa. The lamp is made from polymer solar cells and although it is not as efficient as similar technologies, it could prove more affordable, according to its developers.... Several versions of the lamp are under development, following trials on a prototype in Zambia in 2009. One, a pocket-sized torch that could be used for night-time navigation, is ready to be rolled out commercially and Krebs is confident that it could be produced for as little as 3 Euros (around US$4). He suggested that 'microfinance' schemes, where people collaborate to buy a lamp which they can share, would be useful for people who cannot afford this initial outlay.... Solar lighting is an important alternative to the kerosene lamps currently used in off-grid developing areas, said David Battley from charity SolarAid, based in the United Kingdom, which promotes the use of solar energy to help reduce global poverty and climate change.
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, efficiency increase, technological innovation]

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'Doc Michael says:
This is dangerous. Before you know it, Africans are going to think "solar is the answer."

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