When we talk about the future of renewable energy whether it is wind or solar energy, we love projects that are bigger and biggest ever right? This for sure is one avenue to ensuring that the cost of clean energy is able to compete with the cost and scale of fossil fuels. Renewable energy in the developed world as it is adopted does not change anyones life in the short term, but rather allows us the same conveniences and opportunities as we have become accustomed to.
When we consider the parts of the world where people do not have access to electricity at all, making the move to renewable energy means opportunity that they did not previously have. In this video TED talk by Quayle Hodek who is famous for bringing larger and larger clean energy systems online to allow fortune 500 companies to reduce their carbon footprint, he explores the work of another entrepreneur that has focused his efforts into making clean energy available to people who do not have any energy at all, by thinking not bigger, but smaller.
By making small almost personal solar power and LED lighting systems, people like Gabriel in remote Guatemala are able to trade their $ 15 per month that they spend on candles for solar that costs them $ 12 per day. Gabriel and his family previously shared 3 candles among 3 people. Now with these small solar systems they have 4 hours of light a night.
Not having electricity isn’t about inconvenience, its about lack of opportunity.