The first world is now moving to solar, and renewable energy, with the help of companies like Powur PBC, but what about the third world? It’s too expensive for third world countries to follow the technological path the US went through, but to harness the power of the Sun and use a renewable resource is easy for just about any person.
Solar might seem like it’s relatively new, and even though first world countries like the United States are now just starting to promote and move towards this, instead of using fossil fuels and other depleting sources for energies. It’s something that’s already easier to use than other forms of energy like gas and oil.
This is not the first time due to costliness that the third world skipped a couple of steps and went for the next technological revolution, instead of following the path of the first world. For example, when it comes to phones India and many African nations skipped landlines and went straight to cell phones, because of the convenience, and price.
Not only has Solar helped light up third world countries and to help people in horrible situations, it has also saved people’s lives in these countries.
In Myanmar, 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in fear of religious persecution. It is a difficult road, and the travel lasts 5 to 15 days.
Among one of the groups is an 18-year-old refugee named Ayatollah, he only took his clothes and a solar panel. In his own words, he said the Solar Panel saved his life.
“This solar panel saved my life. They were killing everyone they came across. We had to depend on information from our people about the safe route, and a mobile phone was needed for that. This solar panel helped us to charge the mobile phone. I thought even if I could not take anything, I must take the solar panel.”
The costs for a 20-watt solar panel according to the refugees is about 1/10th the cost in Myanmar then it is in Bangladesh, which is about $15. This makes sense from a cost perspective on why Ayatollah would risk only taking his clothes and the panel with him, instead of getting one once they made it to Bangladesh.
This is not the only story of refugees using and harnessing solar in the developing world. The first world has helped a lot in getting solar to help refugees with the United Nations managing several refugee camps.
On the border of Syria and Jordan, the largest solar plant installation was recently completed and funded by the German government. The Zaatari refugee camp has a camp of over 80,000 Syrians, and they will be able to receive electricity for 14 hours a day because of the 12.9MW plant that was built.
278 solar panels were also installed in a camp in Dadaab, Kenya to help pump 280,000 liters of water per day. Before this act, the camp did not have access to clean water.
According to a United Nations report, approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity. Having access to electricity is what will get a lot of these people out of a cycle of poverty that plagues the third world as they desperately try to escape it. That’s why solar is so important not just here in the United States, but everywhere.
We are seeing the effects of this shift in energy technology, and it’s only the beginning. Solar might be the turning point that connects the third world with the first world.