Interview: For Solar Sisters,
Off-Grid Electricity is Power
For Katherine Lucey, the lack of electricity in many parts of the developing world is not just an economic issue, it is a gender issue. A former investment banker, Lucey is the founder and CEO of Solar Sister
Mother in Uganda with a solar lamp.
nonprofit that uses a market-based approach to provide solar power to communities in sub-Saharan Africa through a network of women entrepreneurs. Access to energy is critical to alleviating poverty, and women must be at the heart of any solution, says Lacey, since they are the family’s “energy managers,” responsible for cooking and heating needs. In an interview with Yale Environment 360
, Lucey explains how Solar Sister’s operations rely on selling inexpensive solar energy systems to households to power lamps and recharge cell phones. Since 2010, Solar Sister has created a network of 401 businesswomen in 3 countries that has provided electricity to 54,000 people. Lucey says the model can be rapidly expanded and can transform lives. “If we’re going to scale up the solution and really have an impact,” she says, “we’ve got to find a way to tap into market resources and let people in their own communities solve their own problems.” Read the interview
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.