Every night, more than a billion people live in the dark when the sun goes down. They experience a different world than that of people in developed countries. Their only source of light, where available, comes from kerosene – a fuel that is expensive, dirty and potentially dangerous. Consequently, their immediate environment is often filled with smoke and fire, thereby making it difficult to even see properly.

Ten years ago, alternatives to kerosene were hard to find. Today is a very different story. Technological advances have greatly reduced the price of LED lights and solar, not to mention precipitating global mobile coverage. Jake Kendall and Rodger Voorhies cite in a Foreign Affairs article, “according to the World Bank, mobile signals now cover some 90 percent of the world’s poor.” These changes have fed a mini-revolution where it is now possible to bring a billion people out of the dark.

Read more: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/15/microgrids-key-to-bringing-a-billion-out-of-the-dark/