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The GENI-us Letter

Energy is key to Africa's prosperity
Global Warming at Critical Point

Dear GENI Friend,

Imagine that on any day of the week, your electricity shutting off randomly for minutes or hours at a time. Conducting business would be frustrating and most certainly cause you lost income. Next, you are told that your daily energy use is provably disrupting our ecosystem. In both cases you would call your utility and politicians and demand answers.*

Life in Africa is changing. The leaders of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) have made energy infrastructure a priority. As stated by NEPAD's industrial engineer, "Infrastructure development is not merely about erecting giant structures, but providing vital services, such as power to increase commerce, business productivity." This will "enhance the lives of poor families by giving them affordable energy for cooking, heating and lighting." Clean electricity is the answer.

ECOWAS (Economic Cooperation of West African States) has signed agreements among its 14 members to develop grid interconnections in the region. They also recognize the enormous renewable energy potential of their region, and have plans to develop these resources for both urban and rural markets. One big hurdle is finance, as $12 billion are needed for new generation capacity and transmission lines between markets and nations.

While Africa works hard to bring the first kilowatt to many villages, the G8 nations continue to spew greenhouse gases at alarming rates. Some scientists warn of a "climatic tipping point," where the consequences are unstoppable and cascade further unforseen changes. The solution? Develop local and remote renewable energy resources and feed them into the grid. It's what Buckminster Fuller proposed in 1971, and this strategy is even more urgent today.

In partnership for the planet,

Peter Meisen


* The GENI initiative demonstrates that these two separate problems have a common solution.

What will you do?

p.s. The Matching Grant Program from our GENI Board is continuing, so all new contributions will be doubled! Call or e-mail for details.

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The Global Energy Network Institute focuses on the interconnection of electric power networks between nations and continents, with an emphasis on tapping abundant renewable energy resources. This strategy is the highest priority of the World Game simulation developed by Dr. Buckminster Fuller three decades ago.

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