Here’s a great post from the site Why Electricity Matters about the silliness of relegating poor, rural Africa to electricity without fossil fuels.
A couple key takeaways:
“The World Bank admitted in a 2017 blog that “the major downside of off-grid solar is that the relatively low amount of supplied electricity limits what those systems can do for the productive use of electricity.”
“However,” they continue, “electricity usage patterns in newly electrified areas in rural Africa are often such that solar is able to meet those demands.”
In other words, the poorest don’t need much electricity, so we only have to give them the bare minimum.”
Exactly! The average African only uses a tiny amount of electricity anyway so why should they need much more? So they can get by on solar!
Of course, that’s absolute insanity. Imagine what those folks could accomplish if they had even a fraction of the amount of reliable electricity we have here in the States.
It makes the “greens” feel good knowing that they are advocating for some electricity for poor Africans as long as it’s renewable, all the while they jet around the world telling others how to live on less. But that’s not what the Africans want.
“Something often overlooked in this debate, are the preferences of Africans themselves.
Yet polling evidence from Ghana and Tanzania shows that when people who aren’t on the grid but do have other forms of electricity are asked if they’d like a grid connection, a clear majority say yes.
It’s completely unacceptable that we live in a world where the average American fridge consumes 9 times more power than the average Ethiopian. But by pushing off-grid solar as an alternative to grid electrification that’s how things are likely to stay.”