Can Cleaner Cooking and Solar Power Help Solve Energy Poverty in Africa? [Slide Show]

South Africa still struggles to ensure that all citizens enjoy modern energy services, just one example of how the U.N.'s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All aims to bring modern energy resources to the billions who lack it
1 of 10


Many other varieties of cleaner cookstoves can also be used, such as the ethanol-burning ones pictured here in Mozambique. The idea for CleanStar Mozambique is to promote local agroforestry to grow the crops, such as cassava, that can then be locally brewed into the ethanol fuel for such cookstoves.....[ More ]


Such cookstoves enable smoke-free cooking and require less fuel, whether it is charcoal, wood or some other alternative. If widely adopted, they could help cut back on one of the drivers of deforestation.....[ More ]


Another cooking alternative to cut down on the smoky indoor air killing or sickening millions is a clean-burning cookstove like this one. The electric fan at the base allows for complete combustion of the fuel and, thus, no smoke.....[ More ]


Dish-shaped mirrors double as solar cookers, used here in Durban to heat water for tea. But the need for maintenance has made it difficult for the technology to be used widely.....[ More ]


  South Africa boasts several manufacturers of solar hot water heating systems, such as WaterLite. Those units used at Aldinville, another local school and 19 health clinics in the region, however, were generic.....[ More ]


The Aldinville children find my hands soft compared to those of their parents, a boon imparted both from my employment as a journalist but also nearly continual access to soap and hot water for hygiene.....[ More ]


This solar heater installed on the roof will provide hot water for the bathrooms and kitchens of Aldinville Senior Primary School. Rainwater collection also helps extend water supplies.....[ More ]


The boys and girls of Aldinville Senior Primary School will now enjoy the benefits—improved hygiene and hot meals—from a newly installed solar hot water heater.....[ More ]


For those who cannot collect their own wood, many countries across Africa south of the Sahara boast thriving markets for charcoal, allowing small traders like the Mozambican woman pictured here to turn a profit.....[ More ]


South Africa is two different countries economically, often existing on top of each other. These children from Groutville still gather wood for the home fire, bringing it home along the newly paved road past homes connected to the electrical grid.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

The perfect movie companion to
Jurassic World

Add promo-code: Jurassic
to your cart and get this digital issue for just $7.99!

Hurry this sale ends soon >


Email this Article