Related Links


Renowned solar energy expert empowers people of Africa to power their continent

Research scientist and philanthropist Dr. Richard Komp has revealed that almost all of the billion people who live without access to electricity in the world could generate their own power to light their homes, schools and hospitals.

The World Bank estimates it would take between $40 billion and $100 billion annually to achieve universal access to electricity. However, energy pioneer Dr. Richard Komp argued against this in his presentation hosted by the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., titled Empowering People to Power Africa. Dr. Komp, co-founder and director of Skyheat, has developed a cost-effective way to provide energy to these underserved communities. The seminar was co-hosted by the Partnership League for Africa's Development (PLAD) and Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI)

Dr. Komp explained how, using discoveries and innovations he has developed, individuals and communities can harness solar power to generate power for their homes and businesses. With just the building materials they can find in their own backyards and open air markets they can completely transform their lives, he argues. 

He has taught the process to villagers in South Africa, Mali, Rwanda, Niger, Ghana, Colombia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, Pakistan and India getting used to light homes, schools, churches and hospitals without the need for massive industrialization, the laying of wires or other costly requirements. 

He teaches innovative ways to build solar panels using cells from solar companies no longer in business in the United States and local materials in those developing countries. And he shows the villagers how to construct and repair existing solar panels, making them entirely self-reliant. They can then transfer that knowledge to future generations, he says, in order to build capacity in renewable energy.

Dr. Komp is dedicated to proving that energy is not only for those already with means, but for everyone. He has repeated a promise he made at his last presentation at the National Affairs Office two years ago: "I will help anyone who makes less than $2 a day for free." 

Dr. Komp constructed his own home in Harrington, Maine, all with solar energy technology, which has provided him free electricity for over 32 years. The home serves as the headquarters for the nonprofit Skyheat Associates, of which Dr. Komp is co-founder and director. 

Share this article

More services


This article is featured in:
Energy efficiency  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity