Need & Opportunity
When Thomas A. Edison was born in 1847, the world population was an estimated 1.2 billion people. Not long after his electric light bulb invention reached a practical level on October 21, 1879, Edison famously said:
“We will make Electric Light so cheap that only the wealthy can afford to burn candles.”
Today we know that this prediction was not quite accurate. The number of people who do not have access to Edison’s electrical utility inventions is now approximately the same as when he was born.
An estimated 1.2 billion people still must burn candles (or kerosene lamps) to light their homes. These are among the poorest people in our planet; they live in “energy poverty”, mostly in areas of developing countries not reached by electric utility distribution systems.
There are rational alternatives, however. In 1954, researchers at Bell Laboratories demonstrated the first practical silicon solar cell. By the 1980’s, wireless solar photovoltaic (PV) systems began to leapfrog the extension of electrical utility grids in remote areas of developing countries, converting to electricity the sunlight that naturally reaches all of us.
We believe that electricity can alleviate suffering and hardship, and that all human beings deserve to have the choice to access this valuable form of energy.
The mission of Energy Access Foundation, Inc. (EAF) is to accelerate access to sustainable energy in developing countries, alleviating energy poverty without destroying the environment, and giving people the opportunity to develop their human potential.
There is an alignment of circumstances which makes our mission possible. Technological advances and the economies of scale have reduced the cost of solar PV faster than most people expected. Meanwhile, LED lamps have also become much more efficient and cost effective. High performance Lithium batteries are now available at reasonable costs. These advances combined with technological and geographical advances of cell phones combined with the internet make it possible for people to be very connected in remote regions facilitating collaborations.
Self initiative is an important aspect of how EAF accomplishes our mission through program activities that support education and entrepreneurship. EAF programs help assure that everyone can gain access to sustainable energy. Click this link to see a description of our programs: Quisqueya/Kiskeya Program & Entrepreneur Support Program
EAF is part of a broader international movement to advance access to sustainable energy. We are committed to contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Initiative and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We hope that you will join us in our commitment to support these goals.