In my twenty years studying and working in the renewable energy field, nothing has struck me as a more effective and appropriate technology than the solar cooker. By concentrating sunshine onto a pot, food cooks! It's such a simple idea, but such a powerful idea, especially when solar cookers replace wood stoves (which cause deforestation, pollution, and respiratory illnesses, and subject women to arduous, dangerous journeys to gather fuel). There is no other technology I've ever come across that has such a tangible, positive impact on people's lives.
If you'd like more information about solar cooking, please visit the web site of Solar Cookers International (SCI), the premier nonprofit organization spreading awareness of solar cookers and promoting effective solutions in Africa and around the world. Please also visit the Solar Cooking Archive, sponsored by SCI, which contains technical, policy, and other information about solar cooking.
Using the sun to cook food or pasteurize water is an affirmation of the potential of renewable energy to serve the needs of people and the planet using simple, locally manufactured, adaptable technologies spread through grassroots social networks.