In 2015, the United Nations celebrates the Year of Light, an “observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science…and its importance to humankind.” Yet, as Pia Vogler writes, “Night time [in and of itself] is scarcely discussed when it comes to the analysis of life in a refugee camp.”
Over 1.4 billion people – nearly 20% of the world’s population – are without access to electricity, while an additional 1 billion have access only to unreliable, intermittent electricity networks. The non-profit WE CARE Solar has created a portable off-grid solar electric system, the Solar Suitcase, which is providing dependable electricity to clinics, schools and emergency medical centres to help change this reality.
Sudha Kheterpal, a percussionist from the United Kingdom-based band Faithless, has designed a device that she has dubbed the SPARK. This device, which doubles as a musical instrument, uses energy to power a rechargeable battery that can then be used to power electronics like lights and cellphones through a built-in USB port. After being played for only 12 minutes, it can power an electronic device for up to an hour.
An estimated 90% of the population of Mali has no access to electricity and is thus hostage to daylight to be productive. Italian architect Matteo Ferroni identified that this problem has a dramatic impact on the lives of villagers, particularly women, as it limits their ability to carryout their responsibilities. Through years of work he has developed a solar lamp …