Doing Good by Doing Solar
In developed nations, we see solar power as an
alternative to conventional energy and a way to fght
climate change. But in poor countries solar reveals itself as
even more — as a way out of some of the world’s darkest
humanitarian problems. Here are some of the dramatic
ways solar is changing lives in places like Haiti and Africa.
BY ELISA WOOD, Correspondent
For those of us who live in communities traversed by power
lines, it’s hard to imagine life without electricity. But large
swaths of the globe remain without this modern necessity.
About one-ffth of the world, or 1. 3 to 1. 6 billion people, live in
energy poverty, mostly in sub-Sahara Africa and parts of Asia,
and to a smaller extent in Latin America and the Middle East.
The basics in an electrifed society — food, modern medical
care, a lit path at night — come only with great effort for the
powerless, if they come at all.
Filling up a glass with water
takes the energy-rich seconds;
for the energy-poor it may
require a full day of walking.
Solar panels in the Kalale District of Benin, West Africa help power pumps and drip irrigation systems enabling the villagers to grow food year- round. Credit: Solar Electric Power Association.