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Solar Power Is Helping To Fight Poverty, Hunger And Healthcare: Here's How

Construction & Contractors Articles

For most people, power is simply something that engages when we flip a switch. It's reliable, almost always there, and easy to use when it's needed. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case for the entire world. For some, wired electricity can be spotty or nonexistent. In many third world countries and high-poverty areas, affording electricity is something still reserved for the well-off. In this article, you'll get the picture on just how solar power, like that set up by places like DPW Solar Electric, is helping the world provide better access to energy, healthcare and even food.

Field Hospitals Fight Illness and Injury

Whether it's during a war or when treating disease outbreaks in foreign countries, field hospitals provide medical professionals with an extremely important way to take action at a local level. Unfortunately, they are also notoriously difficult to run in certain areas due to a lack of access to clean water, electricity, and other necessities. Nowhere has this been more acutely felt than the Ebola fight in Africa.

That's where solar power comes in--pole mounted solar panels can collect enough energy to provide power for water filtration, lighting, and even medical machines like ultrasound and EEG. Being able to access these technologies means being able to engage in better hygiene, earlier detection or treatment, and preventative care.

A mobile solar unit is fairly easy to set up in a short period of time, and can be sized just right for the requirements without taking up a great deal of space. With more space available, more patients can be treated.

As this article says, solar hasn't quite reached the point where it can be a sole energy provider for a field hospital's energy needs. But it isn't far from reaching the point where it can take over entirely. For now, they're used in combination with generators for better reliability.

Greenhouses and Aquaponics Fight Food Insecurity

Food insecurity continues to be one of the most challenging issues the world faces to date. Even right here in the United States, an estimated 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children go without enough food on a regular basis. In third world countries, these numbers are even more terrifying.

The only way to make an impact is by making nutritious, healthy food more readily available, but how can people who are struggling already afford to do this? Some community organizations are combating food insecurity with greenhouses and aquaponic systems. 

Greenhouses work by magnifying the power of the sun, while aquaponics systems grow vegetables from fish tanks by recycling their waste for fertilizer. Both require access to certain devices and running water.

When connected to solar power, it's possible to gain enough energy to run items like water filters, air bubblers, and even grow lighting. That means that--even when days are shorter--a summer-like grow cycle can continue without needing to be connected to the grid. It also results in the possibility to grow fresh food in places that would otherwise be barren, like the desert.

Solar panels and other mobile installations can provide just enough energy to meet these needs, and they can be installed almost anywhere. In fact, solar panels often do better in barren areas, as they have direct access to the sky. With reliable access to renewable energy, community leaders can focus on creating supplemental food for the most at-risk individuals and local food banks.

Fighting Energy Insecurity Worldwide

The USA is lucky; wherever there are a large amount of people, there exists the ability to connect to the electrical grid. That makes it simple for companies and individuals to come in and live their lives without worrying about blackouts. This isn't true everywhere in the world.

Consider this: in some of India's poorest areas, electricity is only available for part of the day, if at all. Sometimes the power doesn't come on for days at a time. Resources are extremely finite, often lasting less than eight hours each day, and they don't extend to extremely rural areas.

That means that items like sewing machines, restaurant appliances, manufacturing plant devices, water filtration systems, agricultural infrastructure, and even bathroom showers will often fail to work. They simply aren't available.

This isn't just an individual problem, either; a few days without the ability to work can be the difference between small businesses collapsing entirely or remaining open. This contributes to localized poverty even further. Unreliable access to clean water and hygiene causes sickness also has a widespread impact on the community's ability to remain healthy.

This article explains how solar is becoming a very reliable way to combat energy insecurity. In fact, over 300 million homes in Bangladesh now rely almost entirely on solar energy. Because of it's modifiability, it can be structured to size--some plans just provide two extremely bright lights and a daily recharge for a small fee.

The potential for long-standing benefits right at home exists, too; for Americans who struggle with affording high energy costs, installed solar panels can help to provide long-term relief from high fees. It's smart, it's green, and it's often more affordable than oil, coal or gas.

Solar power has come a long way since its first creation in the 7th Century, B.C., when it was used to create fire from the sun's rays. Today, it enables people to live a more ecologically friendly life while cutting back on energy costs. It also stands to help society win the war against poverty in the above ways. If you've been considering how solar panels might work for you, contact an installer today. There's so many benefits available to you that you're sure to be pleased with your decision.

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30 January 2015