These Short Videos May Give You Hope About Climate Change

Published: Oct. 27, 2015

By Gillian Willman for National Geographic

From super-efficient homes in the United States to an ingenious plan for extracting fuel from living forests in Indonesia, promising projects are expanding the reach of clean, affordable energy.

UN-led climate talks beginning November 30 in Paris may determine the course of high-level action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Plenty of smaller projects across the globe, however, are showing what can be done right now—in one village, one town, one city block.

Check out six short and sweet stories about innovators—each recipients of funding from National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge—who are making a difference.

How a Town-Size Solar Grid Is Changing Lives in Haiti

In Haiti, where nearly three-quarters of the population lacks access to electricity, even a few watts can be life-changing. Allison Archambault of EarthSpark International explains how her group pioneered a first-of-its-kind solar-powered smart grid in the rural community of Les Anglais. The goal is to go beyond solar lanterns. “The first watt is the most life-changing,” she says, “but everybody aspires to higher levels of access.”

View this and five more inspiring videos at National Geographic.

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The future of rural electrification may be SharedSolar systems, which connect users to a nearby microgrid. Pre-paid cards, purchased from local vendors, are used to access electricity. Husk Power Systems and Earthspark are both working toward making this a reality for more rural residents.

Knowledge Is Power
Jan. 4, 2018

Take a look at how access to electricity is transforming education in Les Anglais, Haiti. EarthSpark's important work is giving kids a chance at a more secure future. 

Open for Business
Nov. 28, 2017

EarthSpark International has a chat with a carpenter and a retailer in Les Anglais, Haiti, and asks them how electrification has transformed their businesses. Not only are they thriving, they're both making plans for expansion!