Why do anything at all?
More than 400 million households on this planet do not have regular access to energy. According to the World Bank, while the rest of the world will begin to increase electrification levels, Africa’s non-electrified population will in fact grow from 111 to 120 million households under the most optimistic scenarios government electrification targets and, given historical growth rates, to as many as 130 million households (700 million people) by 2015 as grid expansion fails to keep pace with population growth.
Once the sun in Africa sets, there is complete darkness for nearly 12 hours a night, with the known consequences that we have been told first hand on our on-site visits to villages in Ghana that we have successfully equipped with solar lighting systems: Women and children who get assaulted in the darkness and don’t even dare to go to the restrooms, children who won’t be able to study after a day at school and having to help their parents at the fields afterwards, people who produce handicrafts having to stop their work due to lack of light at sunset, people having to walk for many miles to get their mobile phones charged, etc. Those who can afford to pay for a petroleum lamp do so at a costly price of their health, as the fumes resulting from it have a very disadvantageous effect on their respiratory system, especially children, risk ruining their eyesight in the bad light, besides contributing heavily towards CO2 production.
What we are planning
A survey conducted in Ghana last fall revealed that the people living in the rural areas have four priorities in regard to energy, the first being light, the second a possibility to charge a mobile phone, and only after that comes the desire for power to operate a TV and lastly other household equipment such as a fridge, the latter two typically anyway completely out of the financial boundaries of the people living in small huts on the countryside, while almost everyone in the meantime calls a mobile phone their own as communication plays an integral part in their lives.
The objective of the initiative is to provide people in rural areas who currently have no access to energy and who are not on the grid with reliable and efficient solar home systems that will bring light and the possibility to charge a mobile phone to these people, thereby dramatically increasing their living standard and security (especially women/children), creating a basis for economic growth and a better future for these people.
We therefore strive to equip as many households in the target areas (currently sub-saharan Africa) as possible with a solar light system and to create a maintenance network to reach sustainability for many years to come.
How we are going to do it
Energy Globe Foundation has - in joint cooperation with Prof. Edward Ayensu from Ghana who, being the former lead of the inspection panel of the World Bank for developing projects has gained invaluable experience on what approaches actually work and which do not - shaped through many discussions, including renowned experts and on-site visits, an approach to quickly and efficiently roll-out these solar light systems to an entire village within a few days with the involvement of local workers, effectively bringing light into the lives of those in need and providing a vital impulse for the local economy in a highly scalable manner.
This initiative is additionally supported by the Catholic Church who will partner with us on the local preparation and installation based on an unique alliance between Energy Globe Foundation and the Vatican represented by Cardinal Peter Turkson.
How it is going to benefit the people
Complete darkness for nearly 12 hours every night effectively hinders economic development and denies these people even a basic standard of living.
Our approach is built on not just giving these people light, with all the benefits that are described in the section „Benefits for the people“, but on providing an essential economic impulse that we refer to as long-term „energetic marshall plan“.
We do so by
Our systems additionally come with a market-unique three year warranty on the entire system, with many components such as the solar panel having a life expectancy of 25 years or longer.
How your contribution will be used
Your contribution will bring hope to those people and help build a long-term basis for a livelihood. Any contribution will be used towards the purchase of solar systems, local installation in the communities and training of recipients in proper use, the setup of a maintenance network to ensure light for many years and complete end-to-end management of the project by the not-for-profit Energy Globe Foundation.
"We need appropriate alternative energy sources and technologies to ensure sustainable energy supply for millions of people who are not on national grids."
Prof. Edward S. Ayensu
Former Chairman CSIR Ghana, Chairman African Institue for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana
Energy Globe, President