Not Just Nuke: Cheap Solar Panels Power Consumer Appliance Boom In North Korea

Years after they first appeared in North Korea, increasingly cheap and available solar panels are giving a boost to consumer consumption and industry as Pyongyang tries to limit the impact of tough international sanctions.Electricity shortages have been a perennial concern for North Korea, and leader Kim Jong Un has called for greater use of renewable energy as part of his drive for self-sufficiency as sanctions have ratcheted higher in response to the country’s nuclear and missile programs. Now ever more households, factories and businesses are equipped with solar panels, leading to a greater variety of home electronics products available in increasingly common private markets known as jangmadang, defectors and recent visitors say. Among the hottest selling items are water purifiers, hair straighteners and electric bicycles, mostly from China but some made in North Korea or even smuggled in from South Korea. “A few years ago, such things as water purifiers, mixers and rice cookers were only seen at some restaurants and rich households, but they are becoming commonplace, especially in cities,” said Kang Mi-jin, an economic expert who regularly speaks with North Koreans for Daily NK, a website run by defectors.


 

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Interesting, it's cleaner and better impacting. Hopefully, that gathers better attention here...

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North Korea is only one who buys solar panel using Chinese Yuan it earned from tourist...

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Solar panel-powered street cleaning machine in Pyongyang, North Korea (September 2018)....

 

image.png.5541bdefdd1bf60a4b72c528b9219a2f.png

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The benefits to North Korea and it's people are unlimited if they denuclearize. As, I said,  IF....

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Military solution to our north korea problem is for the army corps of engineers to go in and build solar panel factories  Carrots not sticks :)

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23 minutes ago, francoba said:

Solar panel-powered street cleaning machine in Pyongyang, North Korea (September 2018)....

 

image.png.5541bdefdd1bf60a4b72c528b9219a2f.png

 

 Of course,who else - China’s solar panel vendors shine a spotlight on trade ties to North Korea..

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(edited)

2 hours ago, francoba said:

Solar panel-powered street cleaning machine in Pyongyang, North Korea (September 2018)....

Note that the machine in that photo is not operating, the rear (drive) wheel is up on a kickstand.  In looking back at the specs, that machine is more for show than anything else.  It has a narrow sweep broom up front, incapable of making any dent in a dirty street.  The unit is a re-purposed small Chinese electric bicycle, with a 300-watt drive motor.  The amount of power used for the rotating whisker broom is unknown.  300 watts does not do much for you,my guess is that the operator still has to pedal. It is reputed to be able to run for 4 hours.  Then you have to park it to recharge. 

Basically, this is a dressed-up foot-powered machine, with the operator working the pedals, and getting a little assist from that small battery. It is pretty much worthless, but it makes it look as if North Korea can shrug off sanctions, via tourist photos, and for that, it seems to be working. From an engineering viewpoint:  forget about it. 

Edited by Jan van Eck

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