Monday, July 15, 2013

Power Africa

Energy Poverty- not a word most of us hear or may not even be familiar with, especially where I'm from in the Northwest. We have been blessed with the ability to get the energy we need to sustain our current population plus some, but the numbers continue to grow and the need for more electricity becomes greater.

Though we have what seems like an abundance of energy there are still parts of the world where people don’t have access to energy. Why in such a modern world are there still people without energy? The question to ask is not why the energy isn't available, it is a question about access, how do we get energy to them?  There are many ways to get energy, generators, wind, water, solar, coal, but are all those ways best?

Electricity has become a necessity in the modern world; by giving people access to electricity, something that I believe most of us take for granted in developed countries, we would be giving them the ability to access a better way of life. Many of the luxuries we enjoy in a developed nation come at a great cost for those in undeveloped or developing nations. Access to electricity would allow a more efficient way of doing simple everyday tasks, such as cooking. Things that would normally take all day to accomplish could now only take them minutes or hours to accomplish by having access to electricity.

An article that was released on July 4, 2013, discusses the plans of President Obama’s initiative named Power Africa. The multi-billion dollar effort is aimed to double the power access to Sub-Saharan Africa, in which it was stated that if no action is taken there will be more people in Africa without power in the year 2030 then there is currently. This is a huge undertaking for anyone but will be beneficial to the U.S. if Africa can get its economy up. Part to the goal is to bring sustainable energy to Africa over the next 5 years. It will be easier said than done, it may seem as simple as building a coal plant, but now where do they get the coal? Or we could help them build a wind farm, but now you’re tasked with training an unskilled labor force. At what cost is it going to take to help better the lives of these populations?

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