Developing Energy to Fight Poverty

From RenewableEnergyAccess.com, a really interesting report on the Global Village Energy Partnership‘s work in India and other poor countries promoting energy development (much of it from renewable sources) as a tool to fight poverty.

As part of the Clean Energy Initiative, GVEP will provide energy in all its forms, including electricity. Since it provides light, drives industry and improves health care, electricity is an effective tool to combat poverty and improve livelihoods. GVEP works in 26 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

India is GVEP’s largest partner base in the world, with more than 125 registered partner organizations from a range of sectors, explained Dr. Harish Hande, Board member of GVEP and Managing Director of Solar Electric Light Company.

“GVEP therefore pledges to promote energy as a tool for poverty reduction and economic growth in India by building on the country’s experience in energy provision, technology development and pro-poor approaches to services delivery,” Hande said.

An example of GVEP’s achievements is the US $15 million Productive Uses for Renewable Energy (PURE) investment project in Guatemala. The PURE project will provide poor communities and households with higher sources of income and better living standards through improved lighting, water supply, and micro-enterprises. In Brazil, GVEP is linked to a major productive-use based rural electrification program seeking to provide energy services to 2.5 million people by 2008.

This kind of focus on the relationship between energy availability and economic sustainability is one often forgotten by those of us who have easy, reliable access to electricity. In the wake of Katrina and Rita, though, we’re getting a forceful reminder of closely our own economic stability in the US (and the developed world) is completely reliant on our ability to generate power.

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