The dirty footprint of the broken grid : the impacts of fossil fuel back-up generators in Developing Countries
Around the world, nearly 1 billion people live without access to electricity, and about 840 million more live with unreliable and intermittent service from electric grids. For many of them, fossil fuel backup generators are the only source of power. But these machines offer a problematic, intermediate solution: their cost of operation is high, they fill neighborhoods and cities with noise pollution, and the exhaust is hazardous to health and the environment. To better understand the impacts of generators on health, economies, and the climate, IFC has partnered with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University to embark on the most comprehensive inquiry to date into the footprint and repercussions of using backup generators. This study explores fundamental questions about the scale and impacts of backup generators that have been largely unanswered beyond anecdote and local or regionally focused studies.