“Solar is sexy but the expedient choice is diesel . . . “

I’m watching the rise of the Mobile World with great interest. It’ll be so neat in another 5-10 years to look around and see how the dominance of mobile technology has changed the internet, global politics, and day to day life. Africa in particular proves to be a neat case study in this. With internet penetration well below global averages, and only a small percentage of this continent online, Africa stands ready to choose for itself any number of technological futures.

A emerging by-product of the appetite for mobile devices in Africa is the proliferation of diesel powered towers. Diesel preferred hands-down over unreliable electrical grids. We all know how service interruptions are a special kind of hell for both providers and customers, so the preference for diesel is easy to understand. What emerges then is a potential ecological nightmare – hundreds and thousands of towers all churning out their signals by relying on dirty, dirty energy sources. Read the full meal deal here.


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