Worldwide, there are more than one billion people living off the electricity grid and, while, we often hear glamorized stories of millionaires choosing to live without artificial light, they are in the minority. Many don't have a choice. Energy poverty is endemic with about 20 percent of the global population lacking reliable sources to power their electronics, businesses, and plain old light bulbs, which can be a huge problem, especially in our increasingly virtual world. This is why some of Africa's developing nations are looking to the future with solar energy in mind. People and organizations have come together to find solar solutions.
While traveling through subsaharan Africa, entrepreneur Mike Lin witnessed the many off grid families coping with dangerous kerosene lamps.We've been having so many accidents from using kerosene lamps. Children get burnt, said one Ugandan woman. And about 1.5 million people die from kerosene lamp related respiratory illnesses every year. Inspired to build a safe, reliable, energy source, Lin and his cofounder Brian Warshawsky started Fenix International, got people on board, and ReadySet was born a portable energy battery that can be fueled by the sun or pedaling on a stationary bicycle. Its introduction has transformed communities.
Before ReadySet, a Ugandan woman says, I had no hope of getting electricity. But now I just need the sunlight energy to charge my solar panel. It allows her and others to stay connected and has eliminated the need to travel and pay high fees to charge her phone, for example. And for children the majority of whom are unfortunately expected to work during the day light at night means they can do their homework and further their education. These extended periods of light have changed businesses as well, Now I.
Get a lot of customers because I have a bright light. I can even work for 5 hours at night says one shop owner. And hospitals and other facilities can use similar solar energy systems to improve their services. Solar technology is spreading throughout Africa. Partly because of this, Akon, the famous musician, launched a Solar Academy with aims to consolidate African expertise and teach people how to install and maintain solarpowered electricity. And, on a more global scale, the United Nations has decided to name 2015 the Year of Light.
Fulbright on the Millennial Trains Project Lala, South Africa
Music I'm on a train. Giggles My name is Nhlalala, and I am from South Africa. We're on the Millenial Trains Project, which is a project to bring people together across the country and with Fulbright across the world. I am on a Fulbright scholarship to do my PHD, in Neuroscience, my focus is on obesity. I went to see a school nutrition program which is done by Liberty's Kitchen. And it's amazing. They try to teach kids, school kids, first they teach them, empower and they nourish. So they teach kids about.
Healthy living, healthy eating, they empower them through the programs they have, youth development, and then they feed the school kids. There are definitely parallels, especially when it comes to childhood obesity, in South Africa it's increasing. I am used to being in the lab. It's different looking at from a social side, cultural, and community. I learned a lot. Especially it was good going through these cities with the Americans, learning from them. I'm Nhlalala Mavundza, I am a Fulbright from South Africa and I am on the Millennial Train.
Solar Panels for South Sudan
With modern technology we can turn the sun's light into energy. We are Energiya Global, and, we build utilityscale solar fields. In Africa there are 600 million people without access to electricity. Many people use diesel generators, which are both expensive and polluting. In South Sudan, We are leading a campaign to build a new solar installation on His House of Hope hospital, an orphanage and primary school in the Yei region. Currently, the hospital does not have enough electricity to operate the life saving equipment that serves the vulnerable population of Yei. Solar installations can bring clean and affordable energy to population.
How to Install Solar Panels Mounting Rails on Roof for Solar Panels
All right, we're getting ready to mount our rails up here, and I've got some blocks of wood. Pressure treated lumber already mounted, from one of my last solar projects, so we'll reuse those when we can. This roof is over the laundry room, and it's facing almost directly south, which is perfect for a solar exposure. Not too difficult for that top end. Let's get some down at the bottom now. Drill a couple of holes here, so we've got a couple more blocks of wood, just to rise this up off the roof. Give a.
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