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Meet Heather McConnell

Heather McConnell has published one novel, An Invisible Woman in Afghanistan, is working on a second (An Invisible Woman in Tamil Nadu) in her Invisible Woman series, has published a short non-fiction “thought-piece,” The Value Economy: Thriving Together at the End of the World of Work, and recently started this website which grew out of her blog. She lives in the old farmhouse she grew up in in her upstate New York hometown. She loves the natural landscape particularly in her hometown and is committed to preserving as much of it as possible. She believes strongly in creating a new way of living in harmony with this landscape – making a home that is sustainable, comfortable and beautiful, buying locally made, quality food and goods, and building and supporting both global and local community.

About Counting the Kilowatts

In many ways, Afghanistan is the perfect country to start this exploration with.* It’s the last place most people would think to look for renewable energy. Yet it is there in surprisingly large quantities. A good part of the reason for this is the lack of a reliable power supply from the government authorities. People, especially in rural areas, have been left to fend for themselves. Electrical power is decentralized and becoming more so. This is probably a trend we will see across the planet but Afghanistan is one of the first countries headed in that direction as people take control of their own energy needs.

Counting the Kilowatts is an attempt to discover these uncounted and hidden energy sources in areas of the world which are not counted by the big intergovernmental organizations, powerful countries and international conglomerates. I’m looking for the small, the discounted and the unexpected wherever I can find it.

As I looked for data sources, I kept a list of every possible organization that might have data about renewable energy. This became quite a long list. For each country I look at, I will be going through those sources as thoroughly as possible. (Please note that some of these websites may be temporarily offline, outdated, and links may be broken but I check them anyway.)

*The actual reason was simple logistics – it’s the first country on this list, Renewable electricity output (% of total electricity output) | Data, which I used as a metric for Afghanistan also just happens to be the primary setting for my first novel, An Invisible Woman in Afghanistan which again, was pure chance.

Primary Sources

These are sources that may have some original (i.e. they are digging it up themselves) data. 

Specific regions

Secondary Sources

These sources occasionally have some original data but mostly they draw from the primary sources.


Many of these companies actually have a fair amount of original data particularly BP which very sensibly keeps track of the renewable industry to determine their best business practices.

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