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Retro: Electricity, Kyoto, and the African Sun
Alex Steffen, 23 Aug 05

One of the aspects of leapfrogging that most excites us here is the way in which leapfrog nations can develop more quickly and grow more green through the use of cutting-edge technologies. Jamais' post, Electricity, Kyoto, and the African Sun is a great exploration of a great example of the trend: solar energy in Africa.

[I]n the developing world, Africa in particular, solar has the potential to be a life-saver, providing clean energy in the remotest of locations. With no moving parts, solar panels are harder to make but simpler and cheaper to maintain than traditional diesel-powered generators, needing only batteries to store the power accumulated over the course of a sunny day. Their expense, however, remains a problem; if new solar developments are slow to bring down prices, efforts in the developing world to shift aggressively to renewable energy sources could fall by the wayside. The Kyoto treaty, however, may provide a solution.
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