April 21, 2010

Ideas on the future of energy

As an American, it's been exciting to learn about the new ways in which Tällberg is connecting ideas on the future of energy. I come from the Pacific Northwest where the issue of where to get electricity was addressed long ago chiefly through the installation of hydro-electric dams. Woodie Guthrie wrote some great songs celebrating the completion and success of these large-scale projects that prepared my home for the 20th century.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vLZOKshJPs (I dare you to listen to this twice and not get the song stuck in your head)

Tallberg, though, has some people coming to talk about energy in the 21rst century, and the concepts are quite intriguing. Instead of huge, expensive government projects and grids, there may be small "mini-grids" where users can both take out power and put it back in. Instead of energy coming from a few large sources, instead it may come from thousands of small sources using renewable energy. Just as a sample of some of what may be coming, check these projects out:

Decentralised sustainable energy production leverage mobile phone towers, CleanStar FundCleanStar Fund, India, led by a group of young entrepreneurs in India and the UK, is partnering with the Confederation of Indian Industry, DESI Power, the Government of India, and mobile phone companies to design and implement viable models for decentralised sustainable energy production that leverage mobile towers as “anchor customers” for supplying rural energy services.

Training Barefoot Solar Engineers, Barefoot CollegeBarefoot College runs a training program for rural unemployed youth and women to become solar engineers and to manufacture solar kits - kits that are already used by 100,000 people in rural India. The program is now replicated in Ethiopia and Afghanistan.

Living in the US, it's easy to feel like you are locked into a debate between either sacrificing personal comforts for a greener lifestyle or continuing dirty, wasteful energy habits without limit. The truth is that it isn't nearly that simple, and things are changing fast. I encourage my American friends to check out different ways energy will change, and look at how you, too, might rework the world.


  1. I am interested for i also do the same project of Solar energy here in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.
    How can we work together to realize the dream of creating green jobs as we combat co2 emissions? 'wiksande@yahoo.com'

  2. On a related note you should consider getting in contact with a UK-based charity called the 'Koru Foundation' who specialise in renewable energy projects (wind, solar, micro-hydro) in developing countries, particularly in off-grid communities.


  3. A project of solar energy is most interesting if located around Sahara desert and if transmitted to Europe via cable...