ON/OFF : The Micropower Blog.

Poverty is a system design failure

Modern, developed societies are built on a few basic presumptions – access to power, information, and resources.

The development of the industrial age saw an unprecedented growth and development for billions of people, in what is today the developed world.

But there are still billions living in poverty and darkness.

Kerosene Lantern

The poor light source: kerosene lanterns. Features: expensive and lethal.

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Energy poverty, no more.

Very far away from the land of dish washers, stadium floodlights and blinking neon signs, it becomes pitch black after the sun sets.

To hundreds of millions in rural India, night literally means darkness. As in impossible to read, have your shop open, or even be able to see what you are eating.

Until now.

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The boy and the lantern

I just took this photo in the village with my cellphone. The happiness on his face was the same as I had on the day that my father bought me the first television. This was in 1972.

Seeing the boy and his reaction, I felt both happy and sad. Happy because you see that you’re contributing to bringing smiles to the boy and his family. Sad because in 2012, people have to be happy to get a lantern in this country.

/Rohit


Free for press/editorial use. ©2012 OMC.

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OMC in Forbes

“Cleantech Startup Finds Poor Villagers Are More Profitable Than Mobile Telecom

In 2010, a few veterans of India’s mobile sector set out to solve a vexing problem with the country’s 400,000 cellphone towers. The mobile network had grown like wildfire, far faster than the country’s unreliable electrical grid, and many towers were forced to rely on dirty diesel generators.

In trying to provide a better source of power to those big telecom companies, OMC Power made an accidental discovery. It found that the real demand, and money, was in providing power to the people who are using the cellphones.

(more…)