Since I am still very enthusiastic about the potential of Solar Systems to electrify the planet the green way, I am asking myself: how big is it really? With China and India on the rise, and the US potentially becoming the world leader in Solar installations in 2013, which other regions out there would profit from going solar asap? Many countries in Europe showed us how it is done (also read my earlier blog post in Feed-In-Tariffs)
Well, take a look at Africa for example to find more countries, or lets say a whole continent, that couldn't get enough independent energy systems, if possible by tomorrow.
According to information provided by the Organization for One World of Solidarity (OEW), only 26% of the population located south of the Sahara Desert has direct access to electricity – making the region one of the least electrified in the world. And furthermore, the number of Africans who still have to live without access to electrical energy is on the rise.
This situation will not change without outside help. The reason is obvious: expanding the overland network is not a lucrative endeavour for energy providers. There are long distances to cover before all the villages ‘in the bush’ can be reached and, as far as the distribution companies are concerned, the installation costs for electricity networks would be far greater than whatever the rural households would be able to pay.
Without electricity, it is not possible to create added value in the local environment, which is in turn the basic prerequisite for any type of sustainable development. After all, energy supply plays a key role, not only in the economy, but also in virtually every area of day-to-day life – regardless of whether in private households, schools, the skilled trades or hospitals.
Since my wife is founder of a non profit organisation that cares for children in Senegal whose life is affected by lepracy (ASB Foundation), we were planning to go there in 2012 and see what we can do to improve our efforts.
I am really motivated to find out whether my contacts to the industry can help to supply some households with energy. Any advice, help, support highly appreciated!
I am thinking about small off grid plants, maybe financed by local microcredits, installed by local inhabitants or electricians. Way to go if this vision shall became reality. Lotta potential!
What do you think? Looking forward to read your comments.