Friday, 22 October 2010

Nick Stern says solar power can free communities from corrupt practices

Carla Jones, from the Ashden Awards communications team, writes about this morning's 100th Object

I’ve been aware of the impressive health and economic benefits of off-grid solar lamps. But what struck me this morning from Lord Stern’s comments was the idea that solar energy can bring political empowerment.

As well as being a more practical solution for the world’s rural communities, off-grid and local energy can also free people from the possibility of corruption.

Lord Stern (pictured) told Neil MacGregor:

“One of the great things about solar power is freedom from the grid. In many parts of the world, particularly the developing world, particularly South Asia and Africa, it is extremely unreliable.

Also the energy is unreliable from the point of view of interventions from corrupt people – it’s all too easy to flick a switch and turn off your energy supply and then demand payment to put it back on.

With solar power you can organise it yourself, you’re in control. So it’s really empowering relative to relying on the grid system”

It's one more way that solar energy allows people within rural communities to take control over their own lives.

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