While developed areas of the world hem and haw about making the switch from conventional fuel and energy sources to cleaner, renewable ones, there are plenty of places in the world that are just trying to get fuel and energy period. Many of these places are remote, rural areas in developing nations, where people do not have access to things that many of us take for granted, like running water and steady electricity. In addition, other factors, such as natural disasters and social unrest, can stymie the implementation of reliable infrastructure. So what’s being done to get light, heat and water to people in these places?
Efforts are unfolding with a focus on starting small and leveraging the possibilities of renewable energy. Individuals, with the right training, can monitor and maintain their own solar panels for direct electricity more easily than a house in a remote place with limited road access can be hooked up to a conventional power grid, for example. Technology like solar energy, by not relying on an often expensive and scarce fuel supply, is ideal for remote places or areas recovering from the trauma of earthquakes, flooding or other traumas. Renewable energy can boost economic growth, too, by allowing residents to generate and sell power, garnering income, and by powering new business ventures. Today we’re taking a look back through EarthTechling at some of the ways renewable energy is playing a role in developing nations, and how this technology is helping communities worldwide grow cleanly and sustainably.