• 2 minutes California to ban gasoline for lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off road equipment, etc.
  • 6 minutes China and India are both needing more coal and prices are now extremely high. They need maximum fossil fuel.
  • 11 minutes Europeans and Americans are beginning to see the results of depending on renewables.
  • 45 mins NordStream2
  • 2 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 11 hours US intel warns China could dominate advanced technologies By NOMAAN MERCHANT October 22, 2021
  • 4 days The Climate Scare Stories Began With Far Left Ideology Per GreenPeace Co-Founder
  • 19 hours Putin and Xi have decided not to attend the Climate Summit in Glasgow
  • 2 days Biden Sets Target Of 50% EV Share In U.S. Car Sales In 2030
  • 3 days Storage of gas cylinders
  • 4 days "The Hidden Story About California's Container Ship Backlog" via Corbett Report
Solar Power Has Had A Blowout Year Despite Pandemic Woes

Solar Power Has Had A Blowout Year Despite Pandemic Woes

Despite supply chain problems and…

Solar Stocks Are Set To Follow Tesla Higher

Solar Stocks Are Set To Follow Tesla Higher

While Tesla has been grabbing…

Are Your Solar Stocks Safe?

Are Your Solar Stocks Safe?

U.S. solar companies stand to…

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba is a writer and journalist based in Mexico City. She has extensive experience writing and editing environmental features, travel pieces, local news in the…

More Info

Premium Content

Solar Could Provide A Lifeline To The World’s Most Vulnerable Economies

Most of us living in developed countries can’t begin to imagine a life without electricity. The most basic things suddenly seem impossible. Imagine just the first hour of your day without the luxury of being able to take a hot shower and cook breakfast without first having to build a fire. Most of us can’t even imagine living without the internet, much less lightbulbs and refrigerators. The idea of life without electricity seems antiquated, conjuring up sepia-toned images of the world before the industrial revolution. But living without any connection to the energy grid is a continued and contemporary reality for a huge number of people around the globe. 

Around 13 percent, or approximately 940 million of the world’s poorest people live without any electricity. In Africa alone, 600 million people live without this luxury. Lack of access to electricity can lead to significant challenges and setbacks for those living in conditions that don’t allow them to do homework or keep their businesses open after the sun goes down. 

In many cases, those living without electricity are vulnerable in a number of ways. “For displaced people, these limitations come on top of a variety of other hardships, from property loss to physical violence and persecution,” the World Economic Forum reported this month. “In short, access to energy is a vital economic lifeline.”

In fact, bringing “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030” is #7 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. There are, of course, lots of reasons that this widespread issue has not yet been resolved. Bringing electricity to the global poor presents a number of considerable challenges. Many of the world’s poorest people live in remote and rural areas where connecting to the grid is especially challenging. And then there is the issue of severe disparity in investment dollars. In Africa, the energy investment gap is an incredible $50 billion per year Related: An Oil Market Recovery Is On The Horizon

And then there is the issue of finite natural resources and increased energy consumption’s extreme negative environmental externalities. As difficult as reaching the carbon emissions goals set by the Paris climate accord seems now, imagine how much more difficult it could be once nearly a billion new people are connected to the grid. Of course, most global citizens (and especially the poorest ones) use a pittance of electricity in comparison to countries like the United States. In fact, “per capita electricity consumption varies more than 100-fold across the world.” Even so, a billion new users presents a potential for extreme environmental stress, especially if the developed world can’t bring its own energy footprint down.

Luckily, the most promising solution for bringing electricity to the 940 million people around the world currently living without it, also happens to be one of the most climate-friendly options: solar power. “The arguments for scaling up access to solar power are compelling,” reports the World Economic Forum. “First, solar is increasingly affordable (costs have fallen five times in the past decade) and more viable for poor communities than the current alternative: unhealthy and polluting diesel generators, which are expensive to operate and add to carbon emissions.”

In order to pay for this considerable infrastructure development, the World Economic Forum has identified five ways to attract and facilitate private investment: 1. De-risk investment; 2. Cross-sector collaboration; 3. Enabling regulation; 4. Public-private collaboration; and 5. Longer term systemic investments.

Around the world, small startups are already leading the charge to bring small-scale solar and renewable energy communities to those currently living without access to electricity. In Africa, the CrossBoundary Energy Access Fund is in the process of connecting 34,000 rural households and small businesses to mini-grids. In Brazil, the Brazilian Association of Distributed Generation is helping to build solar-powered energy communities under the motto “showing solidarity is consuming the energy generated in your own municipality.” Indeed, small-scale distributed solar and energy communities are becoming increasingly buzzed about as a major potential catalyst for sustainable development in emerging economies. The big new thing in energy may just be really, really small. 

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com 

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News