Unique aspects to developing, island, and rural communities when it comes to clean power
- Dec 5, 2018 1:37 pm GMTDec 5, 2018 1:37 pm GMT
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I've come across a number of startups, organizations, and projects that are looking to address the clean power needs of developing nations and rural/remote locations. The motivations for these initiatives varies.
For small island nations, not only do hurricanes and climate change post ever-present threats to their energy needs, but they often don't have natural resources for energy generation and rely on costly imports of fossil fuels. Clean and renewable power sources help address each of these issues. Solar Head of State is one organization I've come across a bunch that is looking to address these needs.
For developing areas that are not yet grid-connected, finding renewable sources of energy enable communities to progress in new and important ways. For example, biogas generation using organic materials enables cleaner cooking fuels in some African nations without requiring the women and children to spend as much time away in unsafe conditions to collect wood resources and thus opening up more time for educational or economic activities. One startup looking to address this is selling such a biogas generator and working with partners to get them set up in the most needed communities.
For rural locations that might go without power for extended periods of time after storms or natural disasters, microgrid technologies connected to localized renewable sources allow for independent and self-sufficient generation in times of emergency that reduces the risks from such blackouts. Studies into such microgrids are especially picking up pace in after the widespread blackouts in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricanes in 2017.
Sometimes, because these communities don't have entrenched infrastructure and inertia, they are ground zero for innovation for what the energy system can look like. Are there other was in which clean power is uniquely able to address the power needs of these less represented communities? I'd love to hear more strategies being used and organizations doing amazing work to connect clean power solutions to developing/rural/remote/island communities in need.
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