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Page added on August 31, 2006

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China nomads on energy’s cutting edge

One day last year, Sitkan and her husband were called to a meeting where 100 villagers waiting for a transmission line learned of an alternative to burning coal. After government subsidies, 500 yuan – a tenth of what Sitkan makes each year selling sheep’s wool and meat – buys a photovoltaic solar unit that would provide enough electricity to power a small heater, a radio, a television, or a couple of light bulbs.

“Nearly everybody bought one,” says Sitkan, a seminomadic shepherd who treks a well-traveled route each year with her family, 200 sheep, and a few cows. They journey between lamb breeding grounds, spare winter cabins, and yurts on green mountaintops. “It’s rare now that people don’t have electricity.”
Christian Science Monitor

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