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Solar Solar Everywhere, Not Enough Bulbs Lit May 7, 2010

Posted by Saba Rahman in Energy, General, Green Technologies, Innovation, Poverty, Solar.
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AndIThoughT© …….. OK, so where do we go from here.  How the developing and underdeveloped parts of the world  going to get their energy needs filled.  There are still lots of populations in Asia,  Africa and South America who do not have this  necessity called electricity available to them yet.  Lot of research is underway to generate energy from the non fossil ingredients to help produce fuel and hence electricity from the different resources locally available in the area.  Another popular solution worked upon is solar. Solar energy being available in abundance in most of the world is considered a prime solution for rural electrification of these populations. In some cases it may be the only viable solution.

We have made some  inroads to provide electricity to the rural populations of the world. More efforts are needed to fulfill the needs and  expectations of those people. The  World Bank sponsored alternative energy projects have been at the fore front of these efforts. Many Governments and NGOs have also initiated lots of projects for Rural Electrification of these populations.  Each one of these populations have their own issues ranging from political to geographic constraints.  Connecting the  rural populations  in most of these countries to the national electrical grid is a difficult task. Take for example connecting the archipelagos of Indonesia, particularly around Bali and Java to a central grid is cost  prohibitive.  Other countries in South America, Africa and Asia find themselves in similar situations. The remoteness of their populations from the major cities makes it too expensive a proposition to connect them on the national  or even regional grids.  These countries lack the resources to accomplish the task. The solar solutions are more viable given these constraints, though still expensive.

Cost of ownership and operations of these standalone solar electric power generation units may be a limiting factor in deployment of these solutions as well. These gadgets aimed towards single family dwellings cost lot of money by the living standards of these population. We are talking about families whose monthly income may be less than the cost of these units. Individual ownership of these gadgets may not be a viable solution at these costs.

AndIWondeR© …….. if subsidizing these units be a better choice for the governments of these populations  or to improve their income and the wages. There may be other ways to help these populations as well. We need to Innovate  to get these issues resolved.

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