Articles by John Keane
Fighting a Pandemic in the Dark: How SolarAid is Helping Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Respond to COVID-19
As COVID-19 starts to spread through sub-Saharan Africa, John Keane and Sofia Ollvid at SolarAid point out that an estimated 600 million people on the continent live without access to electricity at home, and a staggering 75% of health facilities have unreliable power. They explore what solar providers are doing to help African countries respond to the pandemic.
Despite popular energy industry catchphrases like “leaving no one behind,” John Keane, the CEO of SolarAid and SunnyMoney, doesn’t buy the hype. While he sees much progress in new businesses, products and services entering emerging markets, Keane sees a tough road ahead for “smart, well-funded, entrepreneurs selling solar in the world” who also want to reach the poorest customers. Keane’s call to action includes re-prioritizing and re-focusing on the low-income customers the industry says it's trying to serve.
Off-grid lighting trade organization GOGLA responds to a recent post from Ceniarth critical of "hype" in the energy access sector. Consider the off-grid market within the context of the wider world and economy around it, say John Keane and Laura Sundblad, and remember that millions of households around the globe live with unreliable, dangerous, inadequate and ultimately extremely expensive means of lighting and basic energy.