Policy ForumENERGY

Deploying Off-Grid Technology to Eradicate Energy Poverty

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Science  05 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6103, pp. 47-48
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222307

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In 2009, about 1.4 billion people lived without electricity, and 2.7 billion depended on wood, charcoal, and dung for domestic energy needs (15). This lack of access to modern energy limits income generation, blunts efforts to escape poverty (6), affects the health of women and children (7), and contributes to global deforestation and climate change (8). Small-scale renewable energy technologies and distributed energy options, such as diesel generators and improved cookstoves, offer rural households modern energy services (6). Programs involving governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, banks, and community cooperatives have expanded access to these technologies and their services in recent years.