Thursday, August 12, 2010

Energy Efficiency Combats Poverty

Hugh Walen, CEO and co-founder of non-profit Energy in Common which helps to address energy-poverty through microfinance projects, wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post yesterday explaining how small scale energy can address global poverty. He emphasizes the effectiveness of $10 LED lamps in areas where families spend hours a day collecting firewood, spend up to 30% of their household income purchasing fuels that barely meet their needs, and indoor pollution from these fuels is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day and kills more people people than Malaria every year. An LED lamp will pay for itself in two months and eliminates the cost of kerosene. A small business owner will also be able to have longer hours since the lamp can provide many hours of light at no cost. Walen says, "As the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions increases over the next three decades are projected to come from developing countries, green energy represents a way to bring the poor out of poverty in an environmentally friendly way." To learn more about how energy efficiency can combat poverty please visit the Energy in Common website.

- Clara Hill