Why You Don’t Need Fossil Fuel to Fight Poverty. (Clean Energy Does it Better.)

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Why You Don’t Need Fossil Fuel to Fight Poverty. (Clean Energy Does it Better.)

Posted by Daniel Kammen of University of California, Berkeley
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Monday, February 24, 2014 - 5:30pm

Last year President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is without electricity. In a parallel move, the House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership introduced the Electrify Africa Act to encourage access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Since then, there has been quite a bit of debate about how federal agencies can best provide support for sustainable energy access for the region. (See related post: “As U.S. Plans $7 Billion Effort to Electrify Africa, It Faces Challenges at Home.”)

On February 10, in the Council on Foreign Relations’ Energy, Security and Climate blog, Michael Levi posted a thoughtful piece entitled, “Is U.S. Fossil Fuel Policy Keeping Millions Poor?” This question is critical to not only how to most effectively use overseas investment and development funds, but how to transition the energy system at the household, regional, and global levels in a way that addresses the crippling problem of insufficient energy access for the global poor in an environmentally responsible way. This issue is one where we have done a considerable amount of analysis, and the results should be eye-opening to those looking largely retrospectively at the evolution of energy provision and end use technologies and policies. (See related organizations working on energy access solutions as grantees of the Great Energy Challenge.)

Continue reading on The Great Energy Challenge Energy Blog.

Keywords: Alternative Energy | Alternative Energy | Energy | National Geographic | Solar | Utilities | africa | electricity | fossil fuels | renewable energy

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