Can refugee camps go green?

A Rohingya man charges his mobile phone from a solar panel in the Palong Khali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo by: REUTERS / Mohammad Ponir Hossain

LONDON — The benefits of replacing polluting and noisy diesel with clean renewable power for refugees and displaced people is widely accepted. The problem is how to pay for it.

Solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and mini-grids are much more expensive to install than traditional diesel generators. The payoff comes over the years in the form of free sunshine and wind — saving humanitarian agencies the complications of importing fuel to areas that are often unstable and hard to reach. Small, portable units also allow people to buy their own energy and pay as they go over mobile phones.

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About the author

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    Sara Stefanini

    Sara Stefanini is a freelance journalist in London, mostly covering energy, climate change and the environment. She was previously a senior policy reporter at Politico Europe and a reporter and editor at Interfax Energy. She is half-Italian and half-Australian and has a master's degree from Columbia University's School of Journalism.