From school children to night fishermen, solar lighting in Kenya is transforming the lives of thousands of people. As the sun sets over developing countries, more than a billion people are either plunged into darkness or forced to rely on polluting light sources such as kerosene.
While clean energy alternatives exist, switching to them has been slow and in Kenya, more than 80 percent of the country’s 40 million inhabitants rely on kerosene, candles and torches as their main source of light.
But the development of an all-in-one solar electricity system that powers lights, radios and phones is revolutionising thousands of households and businesses.
Robin Forestier-Walker travels to Kenya’s Rift Valley to see how innovative financing, distribution and product design is heralding a new era in solar lighting.
By: Paul Kinzelman
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. However, one of the reason that genuine dialogue and finding a solution to the Gaza conflict are so elusive is because the two sides can agree on very few facts thanks to the perfection of propaganda campaigns featuring selective recall, rewriting of history, and the constant repeating of lies…
Earth’s Picky Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere might seem picky at times. From the energy that Earth gets from the Sun, we reject 34% of it back into the space. This happens because clouds, ice, and snow simply reflect the light. This reflective quality is called “albedo.”
Environmentally Friendly Energy
Solar energy does not produce waste or pollute the atmosphere, so it is ecologically acceptable. If implemented on a global scale, the use of this energy source can improve the environmental quality damaged by the use of fossil fuels. It is time to think about our descendants and leave the planet in a good shape for them to use.
Solar energy is a good option when deciding about the energy sources to use because of its reliability. The Sun provides us with light on an everyday basis, all year round. That is the very energy that sustains our lives as well as keeping the Earth’s natural processes going.
The Future of Energy
It is estimated that by 2025, utility-scale solar power will become cost-competitive with natural gas. The potential of using this energy source is great because it is nearly inexhaustible. Granted, the Sun will wear out in about 4.5 billion years, but, hopefully, until then a new power source will be invented.