Without clean and renewable energy sources, there are 1.3-billion people living in extreme poverty. Being “energy poor” causes a humanitarian and environmental toll of catastrophic proportions. For example, 3-billion are cooking with kerosene, charcoal dung, crop-waste and other bio-mass fuels which releases toxins into the air, killing both people and planet. 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.
Despite ubiquitous agreement that we should invest in clean and renewable energy solutions, today 81 percent of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels. Emissions of carbon dioxide have more than doubled since 1980 as the world’s demand for electricity keeps rising.
Families without electricity often spend 10-20% of their income just on kerosene gas for light at night, which is dangerous and provides inadequate light for adults to work and children to study by. Solar energy is a proven solution for alleviating energy poverty in the developing world, but it is often still too expensive for poor, rural consumers. Furthermore, solar panel rotators (called trackers) are virtually never used in remote, off-grid settings due to their high cost and tendency to malfunction. Instead, solar panels are fixed in place and generate as much as 40% less electricity than they are capable of.
With the world population forecasted to increase to over 9-billion people by 2050, there is an urgent need to get off-grid populations powered by affordable, clean and renewable energy resources. The big question is: “How do we achieve the dual goals of expanding energy production for those without power and drastically reducing emissions from sources such as coal that produce carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to climate change?”
Being that the sun is by far our largest renewable energy source, I have devised a solution that may be the answer.