, ,

Duke Energy CEO’s Book on Electricity for the Poor

Over 1.2 billion people on Earth do not have access to electricity. Even where cell phones are common, villagers have to walk miles to charge them. More than 95 percent of these people are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing areas in Asia; 84 percent reside in rural areas.

Former Duke Energy CEO James Rogers is writing a book about bringing electricity to the rural parts of the world that lack energy sources. Rogers served as the CEO and president of Duke Energy from 2006 to 2013. He has worked in the utility industry for over 25 years and has received many awards and recognitions for his leadership and focus on sustainability and research.

Under Rogers’ leadership, Duke Energy has been recognized as a leader in sustainability – performing based on the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profits. Rogers also serves as the co-founder of the Global BrightLight Foundation, which works to provide globally accessible and affordable energy solutions to improve the education, environment, economic opportunities and quality of life for those living in areas that currently lack access to electricity and power.

The focus of Rogers’ work, “Lighting the World: Transforming Our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity to Everyone,” is to bring electricity to the parts of the world that have little to no access. Rogers details the bold thinking, international cooperation and political will that are required to bring this energy to the 1.2 billion in need.

The key, he states, is finding energy sources that are both renewable and sustainable. Renewability and sustainability are important for nations without basic resources to support the large, centralized power systems on which developed countries heavily rely.

Rogers writes about new large-scale, sustainable solutions that will not only introduce a new era of electricity but also serve as an integral step in lifting the world’s poor out of poverty and onto the road toward renewable, viable economic and energy development.

Rogers doesn’t write only for developing countries, though. The developed world can also benefit from what is learned by drawing electricity from such sources such as sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Westernized, advanced countries have, for the most part, skipped this “analog” stage of electricity development and have moved directly and swiftly from the middle age to the digital age. This is because these countries have not been hindered by the lack of infrastructure, resource restrictions or outdated laws and regulations that the developing, rural areas must face.

An incubator for innovation and invention, the developing world may be the best platform to make progress on energy issues.

“Lighting the World: Transforming Our Energy Future by Bringing Electricity to Everyone” is scheduled to be published August 2015 by MacMillan Publishers.

– Alison Decker

Sources: MacMillan Publishers, Duke Energy, Global BrightLight Foundation, Charlotte Business Journal, International Energy Agency
Photo: Flickr