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Millennium Development Goal nr.2 Universal Primary Education paid for by CO2e-certificates !

posted Feb 11, 2011, 10:04 AM by Sven AERTS   [ updated Mar 5, 2014, 5:15 PM ]


One Laptop Per Child - Part 1

OLPC - Part 2

We're not the babbling kind here. So let's get some figures on the table and do some calculations everybody could have done iso babbling.

A team of us has been brainstorming and working a bit with people from Olpc-Europe to unlock the CO2e-potential of the One Laptop Per Child initiative.  A normal laptop needs about 75 Watt; the OLPC is very energy efficient and needs only 10 Watt.  The amount of electricity that does NOT have to be produced and the equivalent CO2e emissions that go with it, the OLPC deployment can get it in CO2e certificates under the CDM-Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.  The OLPC laptop is often powered by PV panels that the kids carry with them. PV projects of course qualify for CO2e-certificates as well. Thumbrule calculations indicate about 2 to 4 CO2e-certificates generated per OLPC-laptop.  

The production cost of 1 XO = sales price = ±€ 162.60 for the XO Laptop-x-tablet.  From estimates and the field comes back that the XO has an average life-time of 7 years:

So, 1 XO laptop = 162.60€/7 years average life time= 23,23 €/yr= 1,94€/month.student.

Or, 1 XO laptop = 162.60€+30€ PV panel/7 years average life time= 27,51 €/yr= 2,29 €/month.student.

±190 € / 4 CO2e certificates = 48 €/CO2e certificate.  The current price for CO2e certificates is about half of that.

The other half can be easily paid for by the government.  Let me explain.
Imagine a population that can NOT read, write, has basic calculation skills.  Compared to a population that can read, write, has basic calculation skills, has ICT knowledge and has an XO in every family.  The second population will have a much easier time to generate additional value to their society.  Such a population will buy mobile phone subscriptions, satellite TV education broadcasts because they CAN read and write sms-text messages e.g., because they can follow the educational lessons on broadcasted via satellite. These companies can be easily taxed by governments.   Research shows the taxes thus obtained top by far the 25 € missing.  And this in the first year these XO kids come on the labor market, and that is instantly as most kids work in developing countries.  But even in developed countries where kids don't work, governments can negotiate a loan for an XO-deployment with a development bank as even more tax money is generated from the families who get uplifted at the same time as the kids take their XO at home.

So, the OLPC laptop deployments pay for themselves.  

Hence our Request For Comments: the door to Millennium Development Goal nr.2 is wide open and the wind is blowing from behind... we are looking for partners to sail the boat in.  Who is interested in having their name written in the history of Humanity as THE ONE THAT ACHIEVED MILLENNIUM GOAL NR.2: Universal Primary Education !

Want to team up: skype SvenAERTS
Stay tuned as next time we'll tackle another challenging issue.

Virtual Office for OLPCO2e members only:


It has been demonstrated over and over again that groups of kids figure out what the XO laptop-tablet is all about and they can teach themselves how to read, write and do basic math with them, connect to each other, surf the web, make drawings, play games, etc.

The XO is made to be repaired: it holds just 1 type of screw, they're all the same and can be opened with a simple small cross-screwdriver.  Teachers and kids get a tutorial on how to open and repair their XO's.  That's also part of the educational curriculum.  How do you best learn how something works? Just open it and have a look what's inside.  They can thus also be updated and repaired easily.

Say you have about 10 disciplines: 
  1. reading and writing
  2. physics, 
  3. biology, 
  4. chemistry, 
  5. math, 
  6. mother language, 
  7. english, 
  8. religion/psychology, 
  9. arts, 
  10. gymnastics/sports,
  11. history
  12. geography
  13. economics/entrepreneurship
  14. technological/agricultural education
and you actually want 1 text book and 1 exercise book / discipline, so that would make about 20 books/grade.year. 

Let's say that every book is about 100 pages? 

Paper & copy of some text costs about 0.02€/page x 100 pages/book= 2€/book in paper alone x 20 books = 40 €/year.grade.student.20 books.  So that's about the double of what the OLPC/XO costs per year = 27,51 €/yr and it comes with 1000 ebooks on board.  Kids can write on the touch screen and the track-pad.

The XO can hold about 1000 ebooks, so space enough for ALL the text and ebooks immediately for all grades from ages 5 till 18.  So if we'd put all the 10 text-books on the XO, we'd still have enough money to pay for the 10 exercise books in paper format!