How is solar power changing lives across the world?
Last updated on 11/4/19 | Written by Nina Goodey
Solar panels are great for the environment and for lowering electricity bills, but they’re also changing the world through humanitarian aid.
Two architecture graduates designed a solar-powered lantern that was originally meant for Haitian rescue efforts but is brightening futures around the globe. The inflatable lantern, sold by LuminAID, is also available with a phone charger, making it useful in emergency situations when electrical outlets might be unavailable. The lanterns keep communities safer by replacing dangerous kerosene lights and makeshift lamps with vegetable oil, which don’t burn predictably and can cause serious burns, especially to children. These simple lights give light to families, emergency rescuers, and healthcare workers at night.
In South Sudan, a Norwegian company is bringing solar power to a refugee camp and their humanitarian workers to reduce diesel consumption. In Malakal, workers live in a hub powered by diesel generators that tend to be inefficient, expensive, and bad for the environment. By December 2019, Scatec Solar, based in Norway, will have installed 1,900 solar panels, or around 700 kilowatts of power. The project is estimated to reduce the hub’s diesel consumption by about 80-90%. Not only is the hot, dry location well-suited for solar panels, but long-term the equipment can eventually be handed over to local communities.
Ever since Hurricane Maria in 2017, residents have struggled to rebuild an already fragile power system prone to monthly blackouts. As fossil fuel is expensive to come by and public grids struggle to provide power, many have turned to solar power for cheaper, more reliable energy. Following the hurricane, a number of solar panel companies provided panels and equipment, leaving an impression with local communities. While many donated systems now sit broken after solar companies left them without providing adequate training for maintenance, many Puerto Ricans have installed their own closed-grid systems and now enjoy cheaper, reliable power with greater independence.
In Kenya, solar-powered water pumps bring water in from local rivers to communities, saving the women in families precious hours. Instead of having to spend the entire day fetching water, women can now access it from water storage tanks in the village, freeing up their time. Local health clinics now have plentiful access to safe water, girls don’t have to miss school to fetch water, and women are able to grow new businesses, especially in rural areas. Solar power is a small investment by the local government that will dramatically change the community.
Applications for your life
Solar power can change lives around the world through an incredible variety of applications. While you might not need to pump enough water for a village daily or power a refugee camp, solar panels can still power your life and drop your electricity bills while lowering carbon emissions. Visit us at Santan Solar to see what we have in stock, learn more, or contact us!