An essential pillar for development is reliable access to a source of affordable energy. Today 1.2 billion people worldwide have no access to clean and affordable energy. These people live mostly in developing countries. At the same time, many of the poor and poorest countries are also the sunniest regions on our Earth.
The only source of energy in the rural areas of developing countries is usually the kerosene lamp which only provides very poor light, but emits a lot of harmful smoke. Approximately 40 litres of kerosene per lamp are burnt annually, producing around 80 kg of CO2. A kerosene lamp, however, only produces poor light and causes not only eye damage, but also emits harmful soot and odours.
Another source of power are dry cells which are used to operate radios and cassette recorders. When the batteries are flat they are simply thrown away because there is no recycling system. Many roads in Ethiopian villages are full of old batteries which are frequently cut open by children simply out of curiosity.