How are you reading this right now? On a computer I expect – perhaps you are sitting in an office or library with the lights on?
Now imagine if the power went out… No power would make it a tricky to read this wouldn’t it? No power means: no computer, no power to charge your mobile phone, no email, no working fridge, no electric kettle, no evening light…
Now imagine the power went out everywhere… homes, offices, street lights, factories, train stations, banks and ATM machines… even hospitals… for 6 months!
How are you going to live? How will you store and cook your food? What happens if you get ill? Would you still be able to do your job? How could you earn a living and provide for your family in this world without power?
Luckily this is not something that many of us in rich countries need to worry about. But having access to energy is central to almost everything we do.
Energy literally powers our lives.
However not everyone has access to the energy services that you or I might take for granted.
Did you know that in 2012 nearly 7 in 10 people living in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity or modern energy sources? That the majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa have to heat their homes and cook on open fires?
Due to a lack of access to clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy these people have no decent evening light, limited access to modern communications and inadequate education and health facilities.
This energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is limiting poverty reduction, job creation and economic growth. A lack of access to energy stifles people’s potential and their ability to earn a living.
It’s a problem that ONE feels passionately about solving. But we need your help to do that…
In fact Michael Elliot, ONE’s CEO, is challenging you to help us.
At the Fortune Green Brainstorm event in California last month Michael delivered a speech to some of the US’s best technical minds explaining the problem and setting out the challenge.
So now the challenge is open to you!
In the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, and with governments, civil society and the private sector planning to make commitments towards UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative to mobilize global action to achieve universal energy access at Rio+20, ONE asks you:
After placing your vote don’t forget that these aren’t the only ideas. Feel free to use the comments page below to make further suggestions and follow the conversation on Twitter via the#MyEnergyIdea and #energy4all hashtags.
We need your help to tackle the energy poverty challenge and to help governments provide energy access to the billions of people who do not yet have it.