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Submitted by Adzoa Kafui on
Development will only be sustainable if done with renewable energy. Solar collectors, wind generators, and geothermal systems, once installed, have a long life-span with relatively low maintenance costs, whereas coal-fired power plants and diesel powered generators have to be fed forever to be useful. The costs of electrification based on fossil fuels are not abstract, not even to the beneficiaries. Bangladesh in particular is in an especially vulnerable location when it comes to rising sea levels. The price of renewable energy IS coming down, and will come down even more if we create more demand for it by cutting investments in fossil-fuel based systems. As for the assertion that Westerners like myself are hypocritical to make this suggestion when we ourselves benefit from cheap coal-fired electrification, I would like to say that I purchase 100% wind power, and do everything in my power to reduce my own fossil fuel footprint, such as walking or biking to work and taking public transit. It exasperates me no end that I cannot do more. I feel trapped that live in a society where fossil fuels are such an addiction. The developing world must learn from our mistakes and develop along a more sustainable path. They will be the ones to teach us the way.