tv Earth Focus LINKTV November 8, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
narrator: on this episode of "earth focus"... the race to transition to sustainable solar power is underway. in zanzibar, rural women are learning solar skills, bucking a tradition of entrenched gender roles, empowering their communities in the process, while in southern california, it's generating the growth of green jobs and winning over skeptics. [film advance clicking]
different announcer: "earth focus" is made possible in part by a grant from anne ray foundation, a margaret a. cargill philanthropy; the orange county community foundation; and the farvue foundation. [indistinct shouting] [woman shouting in native language] [speaking native language] [people speaking native language] [woman speaking native language]
customers to have electricity. 53% of the houses, they have connected to our grid, and the 47, they have no power till now. also, zanzibar is 100% dependent power from tanzanian mainland. in 2009, the electricity for the submarine cable was damaged. in 2010, they stay for 3 months without the power. so...we studied how we can move from depending from tanzanian mainland. so, the shortest solution is to have renewable energy. [woman speakingative language]
[indistinct chatter] woman: barefoot is a college which aims to empower women. we are in 92 countries, but in east africa, we have only refoot colge, zanzibar. [woman speaking native language] favdi: here we are receiving trainees from different countries. tanzania mainland, kenya, uganda, and malawi. they come here. they stay here for 5 months without going home to learn about solar engineering. woman: this is battery and that one is panel.
this is system of home light system. favdi: the village needs to meet our criteria before our selecting them. it has to be far from the main road and then also the village has to have more than 100 households. each member of the households has to pay $3.00 per month. by using this money, they can pay their salary or they can help the village. for now, we have 8 villages who have solar, so, we have a lot of villages ahead of us. [woman speaking native language]
training the whole family. the husband will benefit... the extended families, the neighbors, they will all benefit. [speaking native language] the government of tanzania, we pay everything for ourselves. it's a supplement of where we have not managed to reach with electricity. i know it is expensive but if we think only about the expense, we are not going to save our people. and we are lucky that tanzania, we have good sun full-time. 12 hours we are in sun.
favdi: it's very empowering, as you can see, because you e picking the women who doesn't even go out of the village, but they are coming all the way here. after 5 months, they become solar engineering. they go to the village they electrify. it's very powerful. very, very powerful. astico: thdirty business of staying behind and waiting for my husband to bring something home is no longer there. even the husbands, they are confessing that. when my wife wanted to start going to the college, i refused. but when she came back, oh, there was a lot of love. [hajq speaking native language]
[woman speaking native language] narrator: while the training students are receiving at barefoot college in tanzania serves as a model for others, southern california continues to be a pioneer in solar technology. man: pollution causes harm to all of us. it's not just an abstract thing. and communities of color, low-income communities, even women versus men disproportionately have to carry the effects of that pollution. paramount is a community that has a lot going for it and a
strong cultural life, but paramount is also a city where a significant chunk of the land is zoned for industry. so, paramount is a community where environmental justice is a key priority. it's important that we bring things to people here. as we transition away from fossil fuels, as we move away from coal and just say good-bye to that whole era, we move into an era where we're dependent on renewables, the question is, like, who is gonna get the training to go into these industries? [siren wailing in diance] man: me making my decision to change my whole life around was the last time when i was slanging and they raided my house and they took my kids. me sitting there thinking, like, man i'm already 30-something years old. i got nothing to show for it. nobody's here. where are all my friends at? no family. no--nobody, nothing is when it hit me. it just like, man, i gotta change everything up. me and everything around me.
i started educating myself and now it just like, nah, man, i gotta step up and man up and just be responsible. woman: so, this is the treatment that you really want from me. ok. how is it? rivera: oh, it hurts. ahh. woman: it looks like it's having a good effect. rivera: why i want my tattoos removed is because it's just a bad example when i'm out there with my kids. out there, like, i can't go to the beach and they're looking at my tattoos, because i don't want them to follow suit. i want to be a better role model for them. i came out with no probation, no parole, nothing, so, i didn't even have no helping hand and everything. the first day i got out, i ended up staying at union station, downto l.a., and then fromhere, i look at myself. i was like, man, like, really hit rock bottom, but was reall tempted to start slanging and making quick money how i used to say. i had all the connections and everything. i went to homeboys, and i
remember there was a solar program they had right there. you know what, i go, solar's gonna be a career for me, so, i'm gonna just stick with the solar. so, i end up doing the solar and grid alternatives came over there and they gave us training. so, right here, we're getting all this hands-on training that will give me the skills to go look for a job anywhere else in the industry. hom: what grid alternatives does is install panels for communities in areas that are environmentally disadvantaged. helping low-income people get access to cleaner energy and le better lives where they have access to more econom resources. california is actually at the forefront of solar just because the state has created so many inceives to expand. so, that means there are about 90,000 people who are working in the industry right now, and that number is growing year over year over year. with all these new jobs opening up, we want to see that the population of solar
installers, solar project management professionals reflects the demographics of the same people organizations like grid are installing for. man: as a family, we like to have little adventures. take the kids out. show them as much of the world as--as they wat to see. woman: we try to teach theto appreciate the environment and to appreciate the good things in life and that would ensure that they have this as they're growing up and that they can have the same for their kids. i learned about the solar system. it was referred to me by one of my brothers. he got the email from the city and he forward me the email and told me, "hey, they're offering free solar panels. check it out." and i told my husband to do his
research on it, too, and it seemed like it was something that would work for us. woman: i want to make sure that you're completely comfortable with the program. so, are there any other concerns that you might have or questions that you have that you want me to address? silvia uriarte: so, once the panels are up, does that mean that they're ours? ursua: the panels will be yours on your roof as long as you live there, and you will enjoy all the savings. remember, we talked about between 50% to 80% savings on your energy bill. man: when she said she was gonna get solar panels for her house, i was very skeptical about it. at first, i thought it was too good to be true. i thought it was not possible. i thought there was gonna be something else to it rather than just, you know, getting the solar panels for free. man: one of the scariest things, it's--nobod wants to get themselves into a long-term contract if they don't know what they're gonna--if they don't know that--that the outcome is gna be good.
silvia uriarte: he was very skeptical. he said, "no, it's gonna be some sort of catch where, you know, they tell you they're gonna charge you the panels later on when you already signed the contract." he was not as easy--ha ha!--going as i was. ursua: so, when i come across someone like ed, who is not complety believing, you know, the program and all the benefits, i--i convince them by pointing out that we are a nonprofit organization. we're the only organization that was selected by the stateo do this. and so, that says a lot. we're not out to make a profit here. we're here to connect people to clean energy. eduardo uriarte: so, the compy grid alternatives pays for the system. they have it installed. they have it monitored for 20 years and at the end of that 20 years, i have the option of having them removed at no cost or own them and i take care of them at that point. silvia uriarte: once we figured out we can actually go for it at
no cost, like, at least try, we wenfor it and we're about to get it installed now. eduardo uriarte: i've told family and friends and they-- they still ll me, "are you sure? what did you get yourself into? did--did you just sign your house away? did you sign your life away? what happened?" ok. ursua: ok. very good. excellent. thank you. thank you. silvia uriarte: thank you so much. hom: i think a big challenge for us is that because we're intentional about working with communities that don't necessarily see solar every day, there can be a natural state of distrust when we come in and say, "here's a free opportunity." i think a lot of our customers are skeptical that something like this isn't too good to be true, and i don't blame them, because i think there's a lot of rationales for being skeptical. silvia uriarte: ihink most people are skeptical because they can't affordo make a mistake. yeah, they're great for our environment, yes, you save energy, but at the same time, the cost of installation and the
cost in the long--long run. i think that makes people afraid. hom: many of the populations that we work with are in communities where there were significant presences of predatory lenders. for example, 10 years ago. and a lot of different institutions or different companies have left people feeling like they were taken advantage of. we're actively involved every day in showing people that their neighbor has gone solar with us or someone else in the comunity, or they can just come and watch us do it somewhere else and that this is real. boy: dad, [indistinct] solar panels and i know what--and--and i know what they do now. silvia uriarte: really? what do they do? boy: give clean energy. silvia uriarte: yes, they do. they make clean energy from the sun, right? boy: mm-hmm. silvia uriarte: yeah. rivera: what i love about my job is everything about it. the people, the atmosphere.
it's like we're a family here. and right here, we take time and we get to know our homeowners, our--our coworkers. and i just love coming to work every day. all right, guys. um, well, i'm emerson. i'm your guys' supervisor for the day, and sal as well. so, we're gonna go over the safety meeting. we're gonna brush up on it pretty quick, you know, so, just to remember, when we're on the roof, remember, if you guys drop something, always call "headache." men: headache. rivera: you know, headache, so, you know, i just wa to make things-- manyeah, i was incarcerated just like emerson and, um... this program helped me out to stay out of trouble, because it's hard for us to find a job in any industry out there. hom: the model at grid is unique because every project where we're installing solar is what we call a classroom on the roof. people come out with us because we know they know that we're the only organization that provides free training to get jobs in the solar industry. eduardo uriarte: i'm really excited to see the--the process
getting going. seeing all the equipment arrive, all the workers here. it's--it's really exciting to see the--the process really moving along. oscuna: i'm believing it more because i'm seeing that it's getting done, so, i see that it's actually happening. so, my perspective is changing a little bit to being more believable. rivera: this is my first career ever, and me having my career is like, wow. at times, i'm like, am i still dreaming? you know, it's still like...i could live off my career now. it feels great. i used to be part of the problem, but now i've fixed the problem. so, this is the way i pay it forward now. so, we are done. we're installing your installation and everything, so, now we're gonna turn on your system. you want to turn it on, eduardo?
go ahead. emily? your system's working. congratulation, guys. person: whoo! eduardo uriarte: being one of the first homes in the city of paramount to go solar is very exciting. it's not common around here. it's something that when people see that they might want to take that--that next step to possibly do it in their home. and we won't just be one house. we might be a whole block or a whole city, hopefully. silvia uriarte: we can teach our kids from a young age, you know, we gotta take care of where we live, we gotta take care of this planet. it's important for you guys growing up and forou to pass it on as well. eduardo uriarte: it all has to start somewhere and even though it--it's one house, one city, one county, it could be the start of a big chain reaction.
♪ brent: this is "dw news" live from berlin. migrants is as pawns in a standoff between belarus and the european union, hundreds of messing on the border between belarus and poland looking for a way into the e.u.. russell's is accusing the roots of manufacturing a crisis. also tonight, germany's coronavirus infection rate now at the highest level since the start of the pandemic, raising the quen