Written by Nsikan Akpan
When Hurricane Dorian smothered the Grand Bahamas and Abaco Islands for 41 hours this month, it knocked out power and plunged nearly 70,000 people into darkness. Two years ago, Hurricane Maria smashed Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, leaving 3 million people without working lights, many of which stayed off for months.
Yet for 1.6 billion people worldwide, those bleak conditions are not the result of a natural disaster, but instead, part of everyday life without stable electricity. Even in the U.S., where energy access is universal, rural communities that lack the electrical infrastructure for less expensive power can struggle to keep the lights on.
A new project wants to illuminate this void — by making energy through the use of nothing other than the cold, night air.
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