We envision an Afghanistan where every home has electricity at a fair & sustainable cost.
Light To Afghanistan (LTA) is the most innovative and potentially impactful program we have launched to date. The idea was born during one of the frequent rolling power outages that are a part of life in Kabul. With impressive exponential growth over the last few years, Afghanistan has very high energy demands - a demand that far outweighs current supply. Furthermore, outside the very center of Kabul, most people/businesses/institutions simply don’t have the option of having electricity. At night time, most of Afghanistan lives in the dark.
The economic growth has brought in alternative means of providing electricity for those who can afford it; unfortunately, by far this is done by installing gas generators. These generators have very few to no environmental regulations, are still very costly by Afghan standards, and require a daily supply of fuel to run.
Access to electricity is crucial for any modern society to provide a basic way of life, to provide access to essential services such as healthcare, to engage in commerce, to allow the flow of ideas, to communicate and have awareness of the rest of the world, etc. Otherwise, growth and progress will be stunted and limited only to the major cities and the majority of the population will continue to live without the most basic of standards.
The proposed government solution of rapidly expanding the Grid is an ancient idea and one that would not only be costly but it will change little for most people in the countryside. The government has difficulty supplying the current Grid customers (a testament to the rolling blackouts) with highly over-priced electricity purchased from it’s neighbors and expanding the Grid will be more difficult. Sending the cost downstream to the consumers outside Kabul will prevent a majority from participating. The idea of expanding the Grid is analogous to running telephone lines in the age of cellular and wireless.
There are alternatives to the Grid, such as solar and wind generated power. These alternatives could allow for local generation of power and do not require running lines for long distances. They could take the pressure off a centralized source of power and allow for greater autonomy of consumers, especially those in rural areas. Considering the situation we are faced with where a The idea of LTA is to bring together the most innovative and sustainable technologies to harness the sun’s limitless power, store it safely and efficiently, and make it available for use day and night. The LTA to improve electricity access for the most remote communities in Afghanistan.
The LTA base system is intended to power the essential electronics of one household for a 24 hour period, during the daylight hours the unit automatically recharges itself for use during the next day. This life cycle is sustainable for up to 10 years with no maintenance costs.
However the units are versatile enough that if linked together will meet higher energy demands such as powering a business, a clinic, or a classroom.
If the key to development is access, then equitable access to electricity represents one of the most basic forms of social development .