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Power-starved North Korea turns to solar energy to keep the lights on

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financual Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: North Korea is increasingly turning to solar power in an effort to address its chronic power shortages and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels
• There has been a notable rise in domestic assembly of solar panels, influenced in part by the influx of affordable Chinese imports

🔭 The context: The nation's electricity grid, largely established with Soviet and Chinese assistance during the Cold War era, is now old and unreliable
• As a workaround, many North Koreans have begun installing small solar panels in their homes, providing a source of power that is not dependent on the grid

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Embracing solar power can be viewed as a sustainable energy solution that reduces reliance on non-renewable sources
• For North Koreans, it's also a practical solution to an immediate problem: power outages

⏭️ What's next: The North Korean government has recently been promoting the idea of centralized solar energy farms, suggesting that it wants to exercise more control over this growing sector

💬 One quote: "The whole reason people buy these panels is because they cannot trust the state to supply them with the power they need.” (Martyn Williams, Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center)

📈 One stat: According to the Korea Energy Economics Institute in Seoul, approximately 2.88 million solar panels are now in use across North Korea, fulfilling around 7% of household power demand

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