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11 inventions that help make the grid obsolete

 Approximately 780 million of those same people also lack clean water. And while those numbers have fallen since 2008, when 1.8 billion individuals were said to be living off-grid, these numbers are still huge.

Thankfully, start-ups and charities are coming up with new and ever-more-inventive ways of providing power, water, convenience and more to these under-developed parts of the globe. One of the chief factors in this uptick in off-the-grid tech has been an across-the-board price reduction in the cost of solar cells and LED lighting. In fact, in off-grid areas, the installation and maintenance of solar and other renewable energy sources is now more affordable than laying traditional cable. Could the grid itself become obsolete in the near future?

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