- Oct 28, 2021 12:15 am GMT
"Powering our appliances and charging our smart devices night and day is something many take for granted. Yet 789 million people living in remote communities and isolated areas globally do not have access to electricity. If we include the people who are not connected to their national grid, the number rises to 1.4 billion.
Households that fall outside of their national grid predominantly rely on standalone diesel generators, which create problems. Diesel generators have numerous toxic byproducts, such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde, alongside their carbon emissions. Bulk transportation and long-term storage of diesel fuel pose significant environmental threats for these communities. Millions of litres of diesel have spilled and polluted land and water.
In our recent study we built a database of rural renewable mini-grids installed within the last decade. We systematically reviewed a vast collection of scientific publications, government databases, development agency reports and portfolios of private developers. We investigated the properties and the long-term success of these developments.
Unfortunately, a significant number of these projects fail shortly after their installation. In one particular context, 60 per cent of renewable mini-grid projects were abandoned within just six months of installation. The reasons cited for failure always point to the same challenges: an absence of local maintenance expertise and a lack of acceptance."
The renewables dream is one exclusive to developed countries of the world, and offers nothing to the other 3 billion inhabitants who depend on reliable energy - coal plants or diesel generators - to survive. Much less, to the 1 billion who have no access to electricity at all.
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