Interview: Using Energy to Help the Poor | Living Planet | DW | 01.06.2004
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Living Planet

Interview: Using Energy to Help the Poor

Renewable energies are not only good for the environment. They can also be used to reduce poverty in developing nations. DW-RADIO talks to the German Development Ministry about this possibility.


Solar cookers, like this one in Tibet, could be used more in developing countries.

Many industrialized countries have set themselves ambitious targets with regard to promoting renewable energies, such as solar and wind energy, as well as biomass and hydropower. Germany, for example, intends to use as much as 20 percent renewables by the year 2020.

In the case of industrialized nations, the prime motive behind increasing renewables is to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuels, such as gas, coal and oil.

In developing countries, however, renewables are first and foremost seen as a way of alleviating poverty. An important goal is to reduce their dependency on expensive oil imports, which can eat up to 80 percent of their foreign currency.

DW-RADIO’s John Hay spoke to Michael Hofmann, Director-General for multilateral co-operation at Germany’s Development Ministry, BMZ. He asked him about the potential the developing world had in using more modern renewables.

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