Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

< 1 min

BBC, 27 July 2020

An astounding report about solar power as a transformative technology, in the toughest environment possible, with no subsidies, no considering of climate change – just about small-scale entrepreneurs trying to make a profit: Afghan opium growers in Helmand. “For an upfront payment of $5,000 [farmers] can buy an array of solar panels and an electric pump. Once it is installed, there are virtually no running costs. It is a lot of money, […] – the average dowry is $7,000 – but the boost to productivity is enormous and any loan is usually paid back within a couple of years. ‘From then on, water is effectively free’.”