Building on the solar power inspirations that I found, I want to build the solar powered community. Using this, people can power their homes, their phones and we could build solar powered cooking areas...
In India Chilli Breeze are harnessing the power of the sun to create solar cookers. As the price of fossil fuels continues to grow and the effects of scavenging for wood impact on people - it's time to look for alternative fuels.
In the recent BBC series 'A History of the world in 100 objects' the final object was this, a solar panel and lamp. With over 1 billion people not connected to the electricity grid, this object could change lives.
I think that there is a lot of merit in this idea. I guess my question is, do you think it would have implications for the type of challenges that IDEO hosts?
I guess by asking that, I incline towards thinking it does. For instance, with the recent challenge with the Grameen Foundation, "How might we use social business to improve health in low income countries", I might have a good idea but as I live in the UK I don't think I'd be the best person to implement a project in Caldas. I think Juan's idea below starts to answer this but I'd be interested in your thoughts.
OK - I got some feedback from a colleague - who knows a little about these things - he's quite direct but does raise some interesting points
...you are getting in hot water here...
...despite all the claims by the manufacturers the simple fact is that they don't work. women don't like using them, they are inconvenient and not culturally acceptable, they might work in special circumstances, refugee camps or particular foods for example, but the experience in various trials around the world is that women do not like them, take up is very limited. If you want to use solar for cooking better to heat the water through solar water heaters, you will see them on the roofs of many houses in the Mediterranean, take up on solar water heating is very good, it is cheap, easy and most energy spent in cooking is heating up the water.
I've heard of other projects (really small) where creating little businesses selling power to do things like charge phones has worked in terms of providing individuals with employment. This could be another element of the 'solar powered community' idea!