News media is a load-bearing wall in a healthy democracy. It informs the public discourse, shapes citizens’ active participation in day-to-day governance, and holds elected officials to account. The rise of social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter in the past decade shows what happens when this new media ecosystem replaces traditional news as a primary source of information — and misinformation. What does this mean for the stability of African democracies, and the continent’s ability to tackle the climate crisis? Leonie Joubert has the story.
There are an estimated 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who may remain without electricity by 2040. Could solar be the key to electrifying the region? Only if investors embrace the change, explain Akinyi Ochieng and Fadekemi Abiru.
Global installation figures are rolling in for wind and PV, and they look fantastic. The future is also bright: the forecast is for further growth. Single countries used to dominate these markets, but increasingly everyone is building. In fact, developing countries now invest more in renewables than the developed world does. Craig Morris takes a look.
For many rural Kenyans, it’s too expensive for households to pay to be connected to the national electricity grid. Some communities, who live near the right kinds of rivers are opting for a cheaper, more sustainable option: small scale hydro plants, to power lights, charge mobile phones, and pick up on the airwaves. South Africa-based science writer Leonie Joubert takes a closer look at a thriving model for community development.
Why is renewable energy adoption in the world’s emerging economies growing nearly twice as fast than in industrialized nations? Laurie Guevara-Stone summarizes a hopeful report that shows that renewables are already the cheapest source of electricity in a number of emerging markets today, helping to bring affordable and sustainable electricity to everybody.
Ten years ago many Americans couldn’t afford to buy a solar electric system for their home. Today, many consumers still can’t stomach the steep sticker price, even if it offers the promise of low-cost, clean renewable energy in the long term. But, as RMI’s Laurie Guevara-Stone finds, that’s changing thanks in large part to third-party financing that frequently includes no-money-down options for residential PV systems.