Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eagle Energy: Americans in Energy Poverty

Throughout the Navajo reservation many families here use gasoline generators and kerosene for electricity and light, but fuel is expensive and dirty. Solar power might not replace all electrical needs, but as solar becomes cheaper, it’s quickly becoming one of the best solutions for the 1.2 billion people in the world who lack access to electricity.
On the reservation, access to power is limited by geography and a history of border disputes between the Navajo and Hopi tribes. Eagle Energy, a Denver-based non-profit, donates and installs small solar panels on off-grid houses. While these set-ups can't power heating or cooling, or even a small refrigerator, they do charge cellphones and laptops.

Eagle Energy, the non-profit that installs free solar power on the Navajo reservation runs a similar program in Namibia, with a few subtle differences. For one thing, their African efforts are called Elephant Energy. More importantly, the lights aren’t donated; they’re sold through a team of local entrepreneurs.

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