The Government of Zimbabwe views electricity as a critical factor in increasing literacy, slow rural-urban migration, and improving the overall quality of life for the country’s rural population of nearly 8 million people who are without access to grid-supplied electricity. Should Zimbabwe resort to its vast reserves of coal for electrical power generation (estimated at 30 billion tons, of which 2 billion tons are exploitable), serious global environmental problems would result. However, small-scale solar electric generation technology is now reliable, inexpensive, and available form a variety of manufacturers worldwide. This technology holds great promise as an alternative to power generation systems that burn fossil fuels and produce greenhouse gases linked to climate change.
Sweden's efforts to reduce sulfur dioxide -- with a decrease in emissions of more than seventy percent since 1970 -- and other particulates and gases that contribute to acid rain are a model for other nations, communities, and individuals to follow. The efforts include emissions controls on vehicles and factories, cleaner power plants, household and industrial recycling, and increased exploitation of non-fossil-fuel energy sources.