Quality of life encompasses the presence of physical, mental and social well-being. An important part of social well-being is access to energy. You see where I am going with this…
Almost one billion people currently don’t have access to a public power supply. The vast majority of them live in remote regions and are reliant on fossil fuels like kerosene or diesel.
Energy ≠ Energy
Fossil fuel is harmful to both the environment and human health. The World Health Organisation has just published a report, which reveals that
- 9 out of 10 people breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants.
- An estimated 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air.
(This pretty much equates to the entire population of Hong Kong.)
Why not capture the sun’s energy locally and distribute it through so-called ‘microgrids’, small-scale power grids that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid?
Skiping fossil fuels
Working with the principle of ‘leapfrogging’ remote areas in developing countries could essentially “skip” less efficient and higher carbon-intensive technologies and instead focus directly on harnessing renewable energy.
Bangladesh is doing exactly that: 3.5 million photovoltaic systems have been installed in rural areas of Bangladesh, an undertaking which created 70,000 jobs.
Green energy – good for your health and the economy
The use of fossil fuel produces harmful emissions, which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuel and switching to renewable energy sources can have significant advantages for our health and in effect save lives.
It’s about time we switched to renewable energy and, in the process, improve the well-being and quality of life for everyone!