Solar Energy Brings Food, Water and Light to West Africa

It’s long been established doctrine in international development circles that diesel engines are the most cost-effective tools for pumping water and powering villages.

But Robert Freling has been turning that doctrine on its head. The executive director of the Washington-based Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), Freling has proven that solar power can be more economical than internal combustion engines, if the cost-benefit analysis looks beyond the short term. Exhibit A is SELF’s development project in Benin, a small country in West Africa (map).

Solar Energy Brings Food, Water and Light to West Africa.