A Rohingya refugee man charges his mobile phone from a solar panel in the Palong Khali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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Governments that fail to use clean, off-grid energy to help get electricity fast to the 1 billion people living without power – mainly in Africa and South Asia – are missing opportunities to improve lives and boost development, energy experts said Thursday.One way is to expand national power grids, a process that can take decades and often misses out rural areas, clean energy campaigners say.Research from the London-based Overseas Development Institute showed that speeding up access to off-grid electricity, such as solar home systems and clean energy mini-grids, can bring significant benefits.The three countries studied together account for more than 180 million people living without electricity, according to clean energy groups Sustainable Energy for All and Power for All, which backed the report.
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