I was surfing the channels tonight and happened across the PBS program called E2 – the chapter I watched was on Energy for a developing world. It was so interesting to hear about how simple changes, some of them in the form of small micro loans were doing so much to improve poverty and at the same time creating environmental improvements.
Most of the people of Bangladesh are terribly poor and energy starved that they rely on kerosene as the primary source of fuel. In one example a tea vendor was able to improve his business and cut down on environmental pollution by the use of biogas to heat his tea kettles instead of kerosene. The new heat source helped avoid the fumes and polution caused by the kerosene. The new heat source even kept the kettles cleaner, resulting in less need to clean and consume water. The overhead cost of using biogas was 1/4 of what it cost to have kerosene. Also the change to biogas allowed him to sell tea all day long, to more customers…
The program went on to talk about how the money saved from reduced energy cost in addition to the increased ability to serve and gain new customers could be saved to provide a much better life for these families.
PBS has posed the transcripts and some excerpts on their site – have a look – it seems like a great series.