Potential for development
The potential energy harnessed from sunrays reaching planet earth each day is many times higher than the combined primary energy requirement of the world’s population for a whole year – this fact illustrates the enormous potential of solar energy.
Energy from the sun is free and will always be available in large quantities. We believe the sun will play an ever more important role as a renewable energy source, compounded yet more by the world’s shortage of fossil fuels.
The potential of solar energy will not only be used to satisfy the growing energy need of industrial and emerging nations. As a very modern energy solution, solar energy offers even the poorest countries in this world – the majority of which lie in regions with extremely high solar radiation – a huge potential for development.
- Solar energy makes development possible: firewood is the only source of energy for many people in the world. It is used to cook. Using firewood as a night light is simply too expensive for many. Kerosene lamps are the most common source of light, but the light they give is weak at best. With a solar power system, sunlight can be converted into electricity, and if this energy is stored, it can be used to light up areas after dark. For example adequate lighting after sunset enables pupils to use the evening hours to study and supports the self-sufficient development of a community.
- Solar energy is local: In West Africa, as well as in other similar regions, there is a striking lack of infrastructure that would support a large regional power supply network. For example in Burkina Faso only 12% of the population have access to electricity. The decentralised nature of solar energy is a very important advantage in when compared to other more traditional energy sources. Through the use of solar energy people in rural areas, far removed from any electricity network, can be provided with a reliable source of electricity.
- Solar energy removes dependency on expensive fuels: The investment costs for solar power systems are in truth still reasonably high. Cost of maintenace however is as good as nothing.With the price of fossil fuels such as firewood, gas and oil ever increasing, solar power systems are more attractive than ever.