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Robert A. Freling
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Robert Freling is executive director of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that has been on the cutting edge of delivering solar solutions to rural villages since 1990.

Under Freling’s leadership, SELF has pioneered the use of solar power for a wide range of applications including household lighting, water pumping, school electrification, drip irrigation and wireless Internet access. SELF has completed projects in more than 20 countries, making it a leader among non-governmental organizations in providing practical and cost-effective renewable energy solutions for the developing world.

Fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese, Mr. Freling holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University, and an M.A. in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California. Mr. Freling is the recipient of the 2008 King Hussein Leadership Prize.

Entries by Robert A. Freling

Electricity: The Stuff of Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 10:44 AM

Global health goals will never be achieved unless we also find a way to dramatically scale up access to modern energy services in the developing world.

Take Ebola, for example. "It is very difficult to take care of critically ill patients in the dark; fluid resuscitation depends on being able...

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Powering Africa: The Hope and the Promise

(21) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 2:19 PM

"Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It's the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. It's the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs. And it's the connection that's needed to plug Africa...

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Partnership With NGOs: A Key to Achieving the U.N.'s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 11:46 AM

It goes without saying that electricity is a primary cornerstone of modern civilization. Without it, some of the greatest achievements of mankind never would have occurred, and our everyday lives would be dramatically different: we could not light our homes, access clean water, provide adequate health care, operate machinery, or...

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Preventing the Next Somalia: Energy+Water = Food

(3) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 2:21 PM

On July 20, a famine was officially declared in two regions in Somalia: Bakool and the Lower Shabelle. Two weeks later, on August 4, three additional areas in the country were reported to have slipped into famine.

According to the United Nations, famine is defined as when 30 percent or...

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Energy: At the Nexus of Climate, Poverty, and Global Security

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2009 | 4:05 PM

Imagine living your whole life without electricity. No lights at night, no radio or television, no laptop or cell phone, to name but a few of the many things that we take for granted in our daily, hyper-linked, 21st century lives.

The often viewed satellite image of earth at...

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