How Solar Energy Development are Changing the Fate of Rural Africa
Since many decades people of rural Africa are living their lives deprived of even the basic amenities. Health care is one major area of Africa which is still into its stone-age. After health care the other area which has drastically impacted the growth of rural Africa is the severe shortage of power to provide electricity to the villagers which are still dependant on candles and kerosene lamps to light up their houses at night. It is quite unfortunate how a country which was once home of some of the most prosper civilizations of the world is fighting for even the most basic amenities like healthcare, power and clean water today.
If you go to rural villages most of them don’t have access to electricity but people have mobile phones. It is quite unfortunate that mobile phones have penetrated deep into the rural Africa but electricity hasn’t been able to lighten up the lives of thousands of villagers that are still dependant on candles and kerosene lamps in night. The obvious reasons are the bad grid and the tough demographic that makes it hard to provide electricity to the rural villagers.
Out of the three basic amenities power is the main amenity which can provide solutions to bring back rural Africa to track in the most significant way. Solar energy which is abundant in Africa because of its geographic location is now proving to be a boon for the rural and socially backward population of rural Africa. If we look at the solar development projects initiated by private developers and the government as well then you can very easily trace how rural Africa is going to empower itself in the coming years.
So how solar energy development in Africa is bringing a change:
Schools have transformed: If you look at the off grid sector, solar energy is becoming a useful source for lighting schools. This is indirectly creating a market where PVs and batteries will be in demand from primary and secondary schools. Nigeria has been able to do it because it has pioneered the utilization of solar energy in education centre. This is quite dramatically changing the education sector of the rural Africa where the future generation is learning the bits and pieces of the modern world, culture, technology, energy conservation etc.
Beside the schools, efforts are been made to create a lasting impact and an NGO in Northern Nigeria is making it happen by distributing solar powered household lanterns to parents and guardians. The PV panel that charges these lanterns are situated in school so students have to go to school in order to charge them. This has increased the enrollment of students in school.
Small businesses are getting back on track: Businesses which require electricity for machines now can opt for solar energy panels and get them installed. Though this is not generating the amount of energy required but it is still better than having nothing at their disposal. Because of this the small scale industry is seeing a hope for revival in the coming years.
It is cleaner and greener than fuel: Solar energy is cleaner and greener than the smoke emitting from kerosene lantern and wood burning. This way the health of the rural population is not been compromised for the sake of power.
It is cheaper and more economical: Solar energy is affordable and self generating power and hence families now don’t have to save for the cost of kerosene or travel to the nearby city to charge their phones and can keep the shops open longer. This way solar energy is making people of Africa more sufficient.
Not only this but farmers are now been able to process their crop later in the evening. Easy access to power is now enabling people to buy appliances that are making their lives more convenient. T.V., radio, smart phone are now connecting them to the rest of the world.