Friday, 4 November 2011

Restoring the Power

How Poverty Stricken Nations Can Recapture Independence & Wealth Through Sustainable Energy

In early 2011 when the UN classified internet access as a basic human right, it became evident that the one out of every five people on this planet who live without electricity lack this privilege. Among those without electricity, it is 80% likely that they live in a rural area as these areas lay outside the reach of the expansive energy grid systems that fuel our urban centres.

To solve their energy problems, people without electricity often burn up whatever fuel source is around them which causes damage to both the environment and their own health. Most people living without electricity have little means to change their situation, as they primarily originate from the poverty stricken nations in Sub-Saharan Africa & South Asia.

Since most electrically bereft people live in rural areas, they must either be given the needs to manufacture energy where they are or be connected to nearby urban power grids, often at a significant cost. The flexibility of renewable energies as a power source is an aid that must be used to not only liberate but also sustain the people of developing nations.

Sub-Saharan Africa & Southern Asia are some of the most solar drenched areas on the planet which could facilitate localized energy production operations. With a fully developed solar energy market, impoverished rural people could establish their own personal power supply with the option to contribute to any electrical grid should they chose to connect with them. Though high start-up costs have limited big scale investment in third world solar energy systems, non-profits like the Solar Electric Light Fund are investing in exemplary projects across the world that enhances both the health and income of the people in those communities.

Click here to read an article on the Solar Electric Light Fund’s initiatives in Africa

Energy for Opportunities

Canadian based non-profit Energy for Opportunities (EFO) was founded in 2008 and already boasts multiple solar operations that have made an enormous impact in the lives of West Africans.

Operating out of Freetown, Sierra Leone, EFO installs solar stations in community buildings like governments and hospitals using financial aid from multiple donors, like the UN Population Fund & Engineers Without Borders. EFO doesn’t just introduce electricity into the lives of rural Africans, but prosperity and education too. Thorough rigorous training in solar maintenance, citizens of these nations are provided an educational opportunity and the accompanying job-security as a solar maintenance worker.

EFO has illustrated through its African projects that ridding the planet of its carbon emissions, by replacing kerosene and disposable batteries with panels that tap into the abundant radiance of the sun, is both a noble and profitable direction for the world to follow.
Click here to hear testimonials about how Energy For Opportunities has impacted the lives of Africans.

Solar Soda Bottles

Watch how, with no electricity, these small villages are bringing light to where there was none:

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! - Switchboard’s blog about recent energy trends - IEA’s electricity access - Wired’s Report of new UN regulations - Earth Trend’s report on electricity access – Scientific American’s Report on developing countries electricity gap