Strom für die Ärmsten der Welt

BREMEN – Schätzungen zufolge haben 1,2 Milliarden Menschen weltweit, davon 550 Millionen in Afrika und 400 Millionen in Indien, keinen Zugang zu Elektrizität. Da diese Menschen überwiegend in ländlichen Gebieten mit geringer Bevölkerungsdichte und geringen Einkommen leben, ist der Anschluss der Haushalte und Unternehmen ans Stromnetz unwirtschaftlich. Die lokale Stromerzeugung mit einem Dieselaggregat ist aufgrund hoher Treibstoffkosten und der erheblichen Anschaffungskosten ebenfalls nicht praktikabel.

Die zuverlässige Versorgung mit bezahlbarem Strom ist eine Voraussetzung für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung. Die Folgen für Menschen, die ohne Strom auskommen müssen, können verheerend sein: Unter Umständen bleibt ihnen eine angemessene medizinische Versorgung verwehrt oder sie haben keine Möglichkeit, frische Lebensmittel zu lagern. Es gibt jedoch eine Lösung, die auf der lokalen Nutzung erneuerbarer Energie beruht, eine minimale Erstinvestition erfordert und mit der Zeit ausgeweitet kann.

Dieser so genannte „Bootstrapping“-Ansatz, also ein Prozess, bei dem mit einfachen Entwicklungswerkzeugen eigenständig umfassendere Systeme aufgebaut werden können, basiert auf der Nutzung der Photovoltaik – einer simplen, universellen und skalierbaren Technologie, die zudem wartungsfreundlich ist. In der ersten Phase dieses Prozesses würden Verbraucher typischerweise etwa LED-Lampen nutzen, die aus einer erneuerbarer Energiequelle gespeist werden, und einen etwaigen Überschuss verkaufen, bis sie genug Geld gespart haben, um Brennstoff für Lampen zu kaufen (für den Afrikaner etwa 20 Milliarden Dollar jährlich ausgeben).

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