How To Power 10 Million Off-Grid African Homes In 10 Years
Taking cues from the pay-as-you-go mobile phone market, Erica Mackey and Off.Grid:Electric are working to deliver clean, affordable energy to the world’s rural poor.
“The poorest people people pay the most money for the dirtiest power,” says Mackey, the 30-year-old COO. “And these people are technically the most risk averse, because anything they lose is a huge hit to them. What we do is centralize that risk. And that allows us to serve the people the national grid doesn’t find profitable.”
“Power is a tool that carries no innate moral value. What matters is the reason behind using that tool.”
“Power becomes destructive when we seek it out for its own sake; when we view power not as a tool but as an end in itself, when we seek power just for power’s sake.”
“The opposite, of course is dedicating power to causes that improve the world: Mohandas Gandhi convinced Great Britain to leave India, Nelson Mandela used power to end apartheid, and Martin Luther King Jr. was powerful enough to “change the rules” and end segregation. Therefore, power is freedom. The more power you have and the more skillfully you use it, the greater impact you can have.”
Krippendorff concludes with three exercises that can help you address and change any negative associations you may make with the term “power.”
1. I associate the word “power” with the following (list any words, emotions, or opinions that come to mind):
2. Create a noble cause (if you had greater power, what positive impact would you want to have?):
3. New associations (what alternative, positive, associations can power have?):
Here are some other places that Fast Company talks about power:
The carbon-neutral economy is a dream of environmentalists everywhere—and one that may be critical to preventing climate change from reaching a nasty tipping point. Now the European Climate Foundation is trying to make it happen in Europe.
How Much Energy Do We Use While Watching the Super Bowl?
GE mashed up statistics from Nielsen, the Energy Information Administration, ABS Alaskan, and the U.S. Census to figure out that the energy used to power home televisions watching the Super Bowl (over 158.5 million TVs) could power all the homes in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Dallas for 10 hours. We’re not suggesting you turn off the game, but it is something to think about as you bask in the glow of your big screen.
As for the game itself? Renewable energy credits are offsetting power use at many NFL venues, and the recently implemented Super Grow XLV program (a partnership between the Texas Trees Foundation and the Texas Forest Service) planted over 6,500 trees in 12 north Texas communities, marking the biggest tree-planting effort in Super Bowl history. Cowboy Stadium (the site of this year’s game) also has targets to cut solid waste by 25%, water consumption by 1 million gallons, and energy use by 20% each year. Not a bad start.
BMW is not exactly the first company that comes to mind when one thinks “hybrid.”
(That would probably be Toyota.) Sure, the company certainly has been innovative in the past. But now the automotive giant has joined PSA Peugeot Citroën in a 50-50 joint venture named MW Peugeot Citroën Electrification to develop and produce battery packs, generators, E-machines, power electronics and chargers, and engaging in hybrid systems research.
“This cooperative venture will enable us to achieve significant economies of scale in the field of electrification. It also represents an important step on the road to sustainable mobility,” said BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer.
According to the press release, the goal of the venture is to “create an open European platform on those technologies that will help the European industry to structure itself in the field of hybridization,” which makes the venture sound like it has bigger implications than simply producing and developing hybrid parts.
In fact, it sounds like BMW is revving up for a bigger expansion in the world of hybrid vehicles. They’ve certainly impressed us before with their iDrive and plug-in hybrid sportscar, so we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next.