Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Solar Power to the Rescue

Throughout our blog we have discussed energy poverty on a personal, residential scale, but what about schools and businesses that are trying to run while experiencing energy poverty? What about hospitals? One major issue that arises when it comes to hospitals is the treatment of HIV/AIDS, diseases that plague energy-poor nations. Medicines needed to combat these illnesses cannot be accessed or administered without the proper energy systems for lighting, refrigeration, and sterilization. No matter how much help we in the US provide donating flashlights and lanterns, it still does not tackle the problem of having inadequate energy supplies in hospitals and clinics. Look around a hospital room in the U.S., and everything you see is electronic- heart rate monitors, respirators, even the bed are all plugged into the grid. In case of power failure, we have a generator large and powerful enough to bring energy to the entire hospital for days.

One non-profit organization, the Solar Electric Light Fund aims to do something about this issue. Recently, SELF installed a solar energy system for a hospital in Haiti. Previously the hospital had been plagued with frequent power outages due to an unreliable local electricity grid. The new system provides both savings on fuel as well as a reliable energy source that will not fail unexpectedly. With this system, solar power provides the hospital with over 90 percent of its electricity. For more information check out SELF's website here.

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