Bringing Solar & Wind Power to Afghanistan (Video)
We've written some about the benefits that the US military has found in bringing solar power to Afghanistan -- cutting out the need for cumbersome fuel convoys saves lives, time, and resources. More important, however, is providing clean power to the people who actually live there. Huge swaths of Afghanistan are without electricity, and attempts to provide power to citizens with diesel fuel have proved too expensive. So, as the video above documents, a New Zealand renewable power company has linked a number of communities up to small solar and wind farms, with encouraging results. The above video was put together by Assignment Earth, a program that airs on PBS and online.
It's interesting that the video notes that providing power to the locals helps the military win cooperation in combating the insurgency. I'm not sure how involved the US military is with such operations -- it's not covered in the video -- but it makes sense as part of the ongoing campaign to win hearts and minds of civilians (an effort that thanks to this and this, seems to be all but a lost cause at this point).
But more importantly, secure power supplies lead to more stable societies -- as the video mentions, communities become protective of their wind and solar farms once they're installed. Finally, it's worth saying that I simply enjoyed this little dispatch --the video is just a nice, humanizing look at Afghanistan -- a change of pace from the stream of carnage-filled reports we're typically treated to.