Advanced Search

Please click here to take a brief survey

Solar Power Potential Is Huge in Developing Countries

The developing world, where 44 percent of people lack access to electricity, could soon be one of the biggest markets for solar power, according to participants at the Solar Power International conference in California. To date, just 1 percent of solar panel production has been installed in poor nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, a situation that Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, called “a scandal for our industry.” Eckhart and other experts said that in addition to finding financing to help low-income residents install solar panels, a major challenge is purchasing and replacing the batteries to store electricity at night and on cloudy days. Another significant hurdle is replacing the energy-wasting incandescent bulbs and old, inefficient appliances and computers often used by village households. One expert who has installed off-the-grid solar arrays in Africa and China said in regions where villagers use compact fluorescent bulbs and efficient appliances the cost of installing an adequate solar array and battery can be 75 percent cheaper.

This piece originally appeared in Yale Environment 360

Bookmark and Share


I worked on the power grid portion of the International Space Station, for Boeing / Rocketdyne, years ago.

The solar panel technology was being improved by leaps and bounds.

That needs to trickle down in a big way, and will when they distance themselves from big oil.

Posted by: Dredd on 30 Oct 09

Those developing countries do have one big advantge, that IS the lack of energy infrastructure. Without a large coal or gas industry trying to compete, Solar should be the only option. The powere requirements are low compared to more developed countries so it theory it should be realatively simple.

Posted by: Solar Hot Water on 30 Oct 09

Post A Comment

Please note that comments will remain open for only 14 days after the article is posted. While previous comments will remain visible, attempts to post new comments after this period will fail. This helps stop comment spam, so your forebearance is appreciated.

The Worldchanging comments are meant to be used for further exploration and evaluation of the ideas covered in our posts. Please note that, while constructive disagreement is fine, insults and abuse are not, and will result in the comment being deleted and a likely ban from commenting. We will also delete at will and without warning comments we believe are designed to disrupt a conversation rather than contribute to it. In short, we'll kill troll posts.

Finally, please note that comments which simply repost copyrighted works or commercial messages will be summarily deleted.

Yes No







MESSAGE (optional):

Search Worldchanging

Worldchanging Newsletter Get good news for a change —
Click here to sign up!


Website Design by Eben Design | Logo Design by Egg Hosting | Hosted by Amazon AWS | Problems with the site? Send email to tech /at/
Architecture for Humanity - all rights reserved except where otherwise indicated.

Find_us_on_facebook_badge.gif twitter-logo.jpg