March 5, 2013
Scaling Energy Access in Developing Countries
contributor: Rob Goodier
In this webinar, Mitra Ardron, CEO of Lumeter Networks, shares the challenges and popular misconceptions that hamper efforts to address the worldwide energy divide. The webinar also provides an overview of design and deployment of Lumeter Network’s affordable pre-paid electricity meter and billing solution.
In our increasingly connected world, one-fifth of the population still lack basic access to electricity. This energy challenge is massive. Estimates upwards of US $100b have been made of what it would take to bring basic service to the remaining 1.4billion people. Those tackling this challenge however often view the problem with a lens colored by their experience in other fields. Energy engineers tend to default to building western style infrastructure; Appropriate Technologists believe that teaching communities to build their own wind turbine is the key; funders prefer to finance governments and philanthropists follow a donation model of giving lamps to individuals, while most academics seem to be talking to each other rather than practitioners in the field, Ardron says.
Lumeter Networks has navigated these realities in the field and developed an understanding of the pitfalls related to certain models. Their solution focuses on one of the main challenges of deploying small micro-grids in rural areas – managing relationships with people who spend $2/day on energy.