Solar Energy in Rural Africa (extra credit)

I found an interesting article from CNN on a new plan for solar energy in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the article, 68% of the population do not have access to electricity. The new plan includes a solar panel installed on the roof and a lithium ion battery. This provides electricity 24/7 and the article made very good points of how having light at night kids will be able to study, and phones will work all day for business men and women, and farmers will be able to better protect their animals.

The costs range from $300-$400, but customers can pay the first 10% upfront and then make payments of $7 a month. After three years, they own it and no longer have to pay. Some of their packages also include a tv and a radio. I find this interesting because I don’t think it is necessary to supply the tv or radio when trying to save electricity and be resourceful. But I also think that it is very exciting for them to have access to tv and power since they are not used to as we are in the United States. It really is a privilege to live in America.

Solar energy is a great alternative to kerosene burning which impacts their health and pollutes the air. The company has a goal of providing clean energy to two million people by the year 2020. They are backed by one of the largest solar energy providers in the United States, SolarCity, as well as Africa’s largest private firm, Helios. I believe this will help them in being able to be more successful and allow both countries to work together. They currently supply power to 125,000 households and most sales are made door to door.

I thought this was interesting since we have learned in class about the different types of clean, renewable energy. Seeing that things are being done around the world even for less developed countries is very hopeful in helping the world as a whole and the planet we share life on. For more information visit the link below.



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