Today, around 1.3 billion people around the world don’t have access to electricity, another 1.1 billion have inadequate access to water, while still another 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
However, thanks to thousands of scientists, inventors and engineers dedicated to helping developing countries and people living in poverty, a number of solar products have been developed to cook food, filter water and provide light and electricity.
Among the awesome products that save lives and make living easier in developing countries are Eliodomestico solar stills, LuminAID lights and solar ovens.
Made from inexpensive materials and able to produce five liters of water a day, the award-winning Eliodomestico solar still by Gabriele Diamanti works by heating, boiling and condensing sea water to provide fresh, clean drinking water.
Another new invention, the LuminAID light, is being introduced in developing countries to provide bright, long-lasting light with a number of health benefits, especially for those who used to rely on kerosene lamps and fire to see at night.
The LuminAID is able to pack flat, which means 50 of these lights take up only the same space as eight regular flashlights, and inflates to become a lantern.
Still another, the solar oven, is just one of the many ovens, grills and barbeques that have been produced in recent years to cook, bake, boil and steam food. Being powered by the sun, they are easy to clean, require minimum to no maintenance, and are far safer than the original methods of using kerosene, coal, or even dung to fuel cooking fires.
As solar cells and panels become a more prevalent sight in cities around the world, people are racing to produce economical and durable products to power devices, transport systems, businesses and homes. Many of these are only in the design or concept stage, but still are great ideas.
Nowadays, even a small solar panel with a suction cup on one side and a traditional outlet on the other, absorbs and stores solar energy, enabling the device to become a portable charger.
How about solar clothing and backpacks? What’s cool about some of these is that they are already available. Solar panels mounted on bags and backpacks that are able to charge or power cellphones, mp3 players, tablets and laptops. We also now have jackets and hats. A solar powered bikini is also able to charge devices while looking stylish and fashionable. It’s able to be swum in too – as long as devices have been unplugged and ports are dried out after use. This may seem pointless or impractical, but then again, so did the mobile phone decades ago.
How about solar roads? This subject of controversy, excitement, debate and support has seen an Idaho couple’s concept of roads made of solar cells being met with an equal number of both skeptics and backers. Scott and Julie Brusaw have received millions of dollars and numerous awards for their Solar Roadways project, with the aim of replacing American asphalt with glass-protected, snow-proof, LED lit solar panels.
Solar power is now also being used in farming and agriculture. From solar storage, water pumps, electric fences and heating systems, products are being used by farmers around the world in an effort to become more sustainable. A perfect example of this is three Indian students who created a solar conduction dryer that dries out fruit and vegetables of farmers in India. This enables farmers to sell food for a higher price and reduce food waste from a high of as much as 65 million tons of food that was thrown out every year.
We dream of a healthy, clean, sustainable future where renewable energy is the standard form of electricity generation. As solar power technologies progress, we can expect to see panels and cells that are more efficient and cost less to produce. Present day solar energy is progressing in leaps and bounds as technology and science continually develops and more people are realizing the positive effects solar power has on their lives and the environment.
After the initial set-up cost, solar panels can save upwards of thousands of pesos in power expenses
Solar power is reliable. The sun rises and sets every day, and though clouds can be less predictable, daily projections for the amount of sunlight that will be received are quite precise.
Don’t forget the renewable aspect of solar energy and its eco-friendliness. Solar power systems don’t produce or excrete any harmful gasses or toxins, making it completely safe for everyone.
It will even make you feel good because aside from helping the environment, reduce greenhouse gases and promote renewable energy, your savings on electrical bills will also grow.
The future is now. These are only some of the ways solar energy is changing the world.