Consider where the costs and problems associated with reducing carbon emissions comes from, from having to transform a dispersed, costless source of energy such as wind or solar or geothermal, into a form which can be centrally distributed to cover all needs. For that we need efficient and elegant. On the other hand there are applications where cheap by itself would do the job, such as an inefficient small windmill or a solar array you could hang out the window which would generate enough electricity to recharge all your Ipod, Iphone, Inks (a very old device made by Apple for taking memos), etc. and run the standby power for your TV. Eli remembers some awkward windmills that used to pump well water on farms. Same sort of thing. The ultimate example is drying clothes on a clothesline.
Dave Sag of Carbon Planet has turned this into a fetish.
HowTo: Make a simple hand-cranked device recharger
And Get Energy Smart Now looks at carbon-friendly approaches to Lighting up the Developing World.
PowerMundo seeks to create a global business network, marketing products that might represent an upfront capital investment for sustainability but long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness by either drastically cutting polluting energy use or a total reliance on renewable power. Their products include solar powered lighting, efficient wood stoves, and renewable energy radios.
D-Light design focuses quite specifically on the lighting arena and has received serious start-up money. Their target is quite explicitly the 1 in 4 people on earth who do not have reliable access to electricity and who rely on kerosene for lighting at night. The concept is to set up micro-loans, enabling people to buy their solar energy, battery, light combinations (ranging in price from $12 to $30) that will then be paid back due to no longer having to pay for that kerosene. D-Light is focusing on India and has, in fact, lit up an entire (even if small) village with renewable systems
With the world saved for another day, sometime in the future, I'm off to bed.
Global Warning Climate Change Energy