in north korea, solar panel boom gives power to the people
In a country notorious for lack of electricity, many North Koreans get electricity by installing cheap household solar panels to charge their phones and light up their families.
Apartment buildings in Pyongyang and other cities are increasingly decorated with panels hung on balconies and windows, according to photos obtained by tourists who recently visited the isolated country and Reuters.
\"The number of solar panels has increased at least three times compared to last year,\" Simon corkrell, who regularly visits North Korea as Beijing\'s general manager --
Pyongyang-based Korea Tour told Reuters.
\"Some are made in China, so prices may fall.
\"North Korea has long been plagued by power shortages, which have plunged much of the country into darkness, in sharp contrast at night --
Time photos from space to prosperity and power
South Korea is thirsty
Cheap and easy sales are soaring
The installed solar panels reflect an increase in North Korea\'s demand for electricity, as revenue increases and people buy electronics such as mobile phones and \"notel\" media players that need to be charged regularly.
North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world and home to two countries.
5 million of mobile phone users account for about 10% of the population.
Solar panels and voltage stabilizer were once reserved for Labor Party cadres, and are now publicly sold in the hardware department of the market and Pyongyang Department Store, where the price of 20-watt small panels is less than 350,000 won
$44 in Canton
Use the black market exchange rate of about 8,000 won in the US dollar instead of the official 96 won.
Getting accurate data from North Korea is difficult, but about 10-
In a series of recent photos of North Korean cities obtained by Reuters, 15% of urban apartments appear to have small solar panels installed on windows or balconies.
Whether this number can be converted across the country is unclear, but ordinary tourists have noticed a significant increase in the use of solar panels across the country in recent months, whether in urban areas, it\'s still in the backyard vegetable fields of rural houses.
Private solar panels are not illegal in authoritarian North Korea. The North Korean government has acquiesced in greater economic freedom in recent years.
However, a defector said that some local authorities may ask for bribes to obtain permission for installation.
North Korea\'s power supply prioritizes factories or politically important areas, but those with money or connections are often able to use these lines illegally.
This country could produce about 33 Watts.
According to British foreign ministry analyst Tristan Webb, who visited North Korea\'s power plant in 2013, one year\'s power supply time accounted for only 7% of South Korea\'s electricity generation.
North Korea\'s winter climate is dry, and Siberian winds can keep temperatures below freezing for a few months.
The country exports large quantities of coal and relies heavily on water and electricity, which means a particularly shortage of electricity in winter.
\"We can heat our house with heaters powered by solar panels,\" Kim Yeong said . \"
North Korean defector mi who came to South Korea in 2012.
Pyongyang is home to a solar panel plant, and state propaganda says the technology is \"effectively used\" in the solar sector\"
Electric lampposts in other cities.
North Korea\'s state media said on Tuesday that it was trying to \"make up for the power shortage\" by using renewable energy \".
\"Develop and utilize wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy and solar energy effectively!
\"Is one of a series of slogans issued by the ruling party in February.
Typical solar generator set
Up includes panels, batteries and inverters for charging your phone or appliance.
In North Korea, private car ownership is still small, but car batteries are commonly used in households to store power from power outages.
In the Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea, the big red sign outside the store advertises solar panels and battery packs, targeting traders from the border.
The biggest store-
Generate enough power to run TV, laptop, mobile phone, refrigerator, washing machine, rice cooker, and even electric blanket when sold --
For rich North Koreans, all this is becoming more and more common.
\"North Koreans didn\'t really buy solar panels from us until two years ago,\" said Yang yanmeng, a trader in Shandong province, China, who has been selling solar panels since 2012. \"Now, up to 80-
\"90% of our company\'s products are sold to North Korea,\" he told Reuters by phone . \". (
Additional reports from Seungyun Oh in Seoul and Sue
Lin Hong is in Shanghai,
Edited by Tony Munroe and Raju Gopalakrishnan)