Instead of simply doling out solar panels to African villages, retired Brandeis University physics professor Robert Lange is employing an innovative solution with the dual goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting green energy, The Boston Globe reports.
Before villagers can obtain a solar panel, they first need to build and install four new fuel-efficient cooking stoves. By using stoves that consume one-third less wood, households are effectively decreasing their carbon emissions.
“We’re trying to set up an informal carbon credit market,’’ Lange said. “We’re saying four stoves is worth about USD130 in reduced emissions over eight or 10 years, and for 130 bucks we can buy and import a household-scale solar energy system, to give you lights, charge your cellphone, and run a radio.’’