let there be light

let there be lightLet there be light is not only God’s command in Genesis 1v3 but also a TEARFUND campaign to get the UK government to fund small scale renewables and batteries in the developing world.  Its worth reminding ourselves as we read this of how much we take electricity and natural gas for granted.  Millions do without and rely on paraffin lamps etc.  The number of people without access to electricity as the graph shows is falling fast.  Its still over a billion people though.

There are two things people need in the tropics heat for cooking and electricity.  Great strides have been made with low cost stoves and biogas to cook on.  These are used by millions in the developing world cutting both smoke and deforestation.  They and electricity provision are a classic market failure.  There is nothing in it for private companies to provide millions with a solar panel or two and some lithium batteries, much less gas.  (There are parts of Edinburgh not on mains gas due to the people who live there being too poor to make it worthwhile).  However, doing so make people safer allows children’s education to go after dark and stimulates small businesses.  Its a great idea but only governments can do it.  Let there be light.


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