Power to the people! The benefits of solar power are quickly being realised, with a number of microgrids popping up across the globe. Solar power systems are proving to be ground-breaking, and often life-changing, additions for the communities that have embraced them; opening up a variety of invaluable opportunities for all to benefit from.
Prepare to be inspired as we take a look at some powerful stories where solar power has made a positive difference in communities around the world. We also share some ideas on how you too, can be a part of this revolution by helping your own community through solar.
Sunny Australia isn’t the only country adopting solar power
While solar power is a booming industry in Australia, and even though now more than 1.79 million Australians have solar panels, we aren’t the only country getting involved. There are many other countries with significantly smaller communities proving that solar power can be utilised in a variety of ways for the greater good of all its people:
In India and many other parts of the world, unfortunately women’s perceived value to society diminishes the older they become. The Barefoot College in Rajasthan is tackling this issue by teaching older women to be solar engineers, helping to advance their social standing and influence within their communities.
The island of Eigg may be tiny at only 30 square kilometres, but it’s being recognised as a remarkable example of energy self-sufficiency. During long summer days, Eigg’s solar panels account for the majority of energy produced while wind and rain is limited.
A Malian bed and breakfast owner has chosen to embrace solar power at her business, which has brought electricity into the homes of many rural Malians in her community that were not able to access electricity because of their distance from the electricity grid.
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa, inhabited by just 600 people, has claimed energy independence with the completion of a solar-powered microgrid. Installing the system will save around 110,000 gallons of diesel, and it can even withstand Category 5 hurricanes!
The Princess Elisabeth Antarctica research station is an older example of a community harnessing renewable resources (such as 24 hours of daylight in summer), to create a “zero emission” facility. The area is solely powered by renewable energy in a push to conserve the pristine area from the effects of climate change.
Solar power has opened up a number of professional opportunities for young African technicians, engineers and managers, through the brand new Micro-Grid Academy in Nairobi. The academy will provide students with theoretical and practical training on energy access and decentralised renewable energy solutions.
Building virtual power plants, one home at a time
Feeling inspired to assist your local community? As you’re probably well-aware by now, we’re currently facing an energy crisis in Australia. With consistently rising average temperatures, our nation’s reliance on the main electricity grid is increasing, particularly in times of extreme weather conditions as we’ve experienced recently.
When this happens, energy prices are hiked up as energy providers struggle to meet the demands of the population. Unfortunately, this also means that more electricity is needed from the main grid which is powered through dirty energy sources like coal and gas, causing great damage to the environment.
But the good news is, you can be part of the solution for your local community! If you have solar panels installed at your home, the next step is to get connected with Reposit First get weather predictions, monitor your household's energy usage in real-time, and assess whether a solar battery is right for your needs.
If you decide to go ahead with a solar battery, you can choose to sell your excess back to the grid in times of high demand. This means your household will be contributing cleaner, more sustainable energy for your community to power their homes, in return for GridCredits and the contentment knowing you’re contributing to something bigger.